The White House Coronavirus Task Force is continuing its daily briefings on Monday, as cases of a new coronavirus surpassed 337,000.
C-SPAN will stream the 5 p.m. ET briefing live on its C-SPAN 1 television channel, as well as, on its website. Viewers can also watch the briefing in real-time through the White House’s YouTube channel.
New York, Louisiana and Michigan, three U.S. hotspots, could experience the peak of their outbreak in the next five or six days, according to the task force. The death toll is already at 9,654 and President Donald Trump warned on Saturday that this could be the “toughest week.”
On Monday, 337,971 people in the U.S. had tested positive for the virus, according to a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University. Of those people, 17,582 have recovered and on Saturday, Trump said the convalescent plasma program provides “hope.” The program allows people who have already recovered to transfer immunity to those who are ill through a plasma donation.
“I think it shows a great promise,” Trump said. “We don’t want to provide false hope, but definitely hope.”
Ahead of Monday’s briefing, Vice President Mike Pence will lead a teleconference with governors to discuss the response to the outbreak. The Trump administration implemented international travel restrictions and issued a 30-day guideline for social distancing. But, they’ve left lockdown measures up to states and have been working with governors to allocate response supplies.
In some cases, Trump said states won’t receive the quantity of supplies they’ve requested because the focus is on the areas that have the greatest need. Along with New York, Louisiana and Michigan, officials are focusing their attention on New Jersey, the state with the second-highest number of cases.
Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the president’s top coronavirus advisers, said officials are also keeping an eye on Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington, D.C., because they’re headed up the slope of the curve. As of Sunday, they had 11,510, 4,950 and 998 respective cases, according to their health department websites. Officials are hoping that mitigation measures will “blunt” the curve and prevent them from having a spike similar to New Jersey’s.
Members of the task force have praised people for adhering strictly to the social distancing measures, as it’s a known method that can slow the spread of the virus and save lives. On Sunday, Pence said they’re seeing the “glimmers of progress,” in cases, hospitalizations and deaths stabilizing.
“I want to say to the American people, if that holds, if that’s happening, it’s because of what all of you are doing,” Pence said, adding that he’s not jumping to any conclusions, yet.
Pence, the head of the task force, as well as Birx and the president, have made the briefings part of their routine, appearing regularly at them. Specific attendees vary from day to day, though, and it’s unclear who will be at the podium on Monday.
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