Breaking Silence, White House Task Force Warns Of Massive COVID Spread
Urging vigilance until a mass vaccine program is in place, members of the White House coronavirus task force held its first press briefing since July.
The New York Times:
After A Long Absence, The U.S. Coronavirus Task Force Returns With A Plea For Vigilance.
The Trump administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, appearing at the White House with other top federal health officials for the first time in months, issued a dire assessment of the pandemic on Thursday, along with an urgent warning for Americans to “increase their vigilance” as they await the approval of a vaccine. Dr. Deborah L. Birx made the remarks after the White House coronavirus task force met with Vice President Mike Pence — who offered a far rosier assessment as he defended the administration’s handling of a pandemic that has now claimed more than 250,000 lives in the United States, and killed nearly 2,000 Americans on Wednesday alone. (11/20)
Fauci, Birx Urge Americans To Take Precautions Against Virus In Rare White House Appearance
Top Trump administration health officials made a rare appearance at the White House on Thursday to plead with Americans to redouble their efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. But — even with the country facing a worsening pandemic and ongoing attacks on the electoral process from President Trump — Vice President Pence, Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield did not take questions from the press. It was the first time they had delivered remarks from the White House briefing room in several months. (Samuels, 11/19)
White House Urges Vigilance On Coronavirus But Rejects Lockdowns As Solution
The White House Coronavirus Task Force and President-elect Joe Biden separately gave updates on the worsening COVID-19 pandemic and how their teams were working to defeat it as health officials on Thursday warned against holiday travel to limit the virus's spread. Speaking from the White House briefing room, members of the coronavirus task force, led by Vice President Pence, spoke encouragingly about the process of vaccine development. The task force acknowledged the rise in cases across the country, but speakers said the administration still would not support a national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Wise, 11/19)
A Map From White House Coronavirus Task Force Shows COVID-19 All Over
The US is covered in the coronavirus from shore to shore. ... One million new cases of the virus were diagnosed nationwide last week, washing the map of the country in red. (Brueck, 11/19)
Reporters Scream Questions At Pence After He Declines To Take Queries
Vice President Mike Pence declined to take questions after an hour-plus coronavirus task force briefing, the first in months, as reporters screamed queries at him as he left the lectern. Jon Karl, ABC News’ chief White House correspondent, stood up in the front row as Pence left and said, “What is going on?” Another person was heard shouting, “You are all undermining the democratic election.”“Mr. @VP — it’s not a press briefing if you do not take questions. Why the refusal to answer a single question?” Karl later tweeted. (Johnson, 11/19)
Atlas On The Outs With Coronavirus Task Force But Still Pushing Trump's Pandemic Claims
President Donald Trump’s top medical adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Scott Atlas, has not attended White House task force meetings in person since late September, according to two administration officials, as he continues to spread misinformation about the worsening health crisis. The growing split between Atlas and task force leaders came after the group’s leading medical experts — Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci — indicated that they did not appreciate Atlas’ controversial input or contributions in the Situation Room gatherings. (Alba and Lee, 11/19)