Coronavirus task force holds briefing as US cases continue to increase


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Members of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force are expected to hold a press briefing Monday to address the growing pandemic in the United States.

Last week, Trump signed into law a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill to help prop up the economy. The 880-page legislation offers relief to individuals, businesses and health facilities. It includes direct payments to individuals, stronger unemployment insurance, loans and grants to businesses and more health-care resources for hospitals, states and municipalities.

At the outbreak’s start in the United States, Trump initially downplayed its impact but has since changed his tune.

Earlier this month, he declared a national emergency, a move that freed up financial resources to assist Americans affected by the health crisis.

Health officials for weeks have been urging Americans to take strong precautions as coronavirus cases multiply. Earlier this month, the WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic, saying it expects “to see the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries to climb even higher.”

Task force members include Vice President Mike Pence; Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services; Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, among others.

The coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to dozens of countries, with more than 766,300 confirmed cases worldwide and at least 36,873 deaths so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 153,200 cases in the United States and at least 2,828 deaths, according to the latest tallies.

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