Breakdown: Coronavirus Task Force Briefing April 21, 2020
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Breakdown: Coronavirus Task Force Briefing April 21, 2020

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President Trump and members of his Coronavirus Task Force held a press briefing on the coronavirus at the White House Tuesday evening.

  • Trump began Tuesday’s White House briefing announcing that 20 states have announced that they are making “plans and preparations to safely restart their economies in the very near future.”
  • Trump said he will be speaking to Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp after the briefing to ask him whether people entering businesses being allowed to reopen, such as nail salons, would be tested.
  • Trump said that he would personally asking Harvard University to return nearly $9 million from the CARES Act coronavirus relief package it was granted as part of the previous coronavirus relief package.
  • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin asserted that there would be consequences for larger companies taking from the pot of Paycheck Protection Program funds meant for small businesses. 
  • Mnuchin gave an estimate number of “over 30 million jobs” when asked how many jobs have been saved with the PPP.
  • On Coronavirus relief payment, Mnuchin said the Treasury Department plans to get the payments out faster “by sending them prepaid debit cards.” He said payments have already been sent to more than 80 million Americans via direct deposit and that paper checks started to be issued this week.
  • Trump met with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Oval Office before Tuesday’s briefing, to talk about testing and funding for New York. He said both had a “great meeting” and both “have a very good understanding” regarding federal government’s oversight on testing. 
  • Trump said he also asked Cuomo about reallocating the USNS Comfort “back to its base in Virginia so that we could have it for other locations” in which Cuomo said he “would be able to do that.”
  • Dr. Deborah Birx said she “don’t know if it will be worse, I think this has been pretty bad” when asked if she thinks the possibility that a second wave of coronavirus could be worse than the first current wave.
  • Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said that results from a recent Veterans Affairs study regarding the use of Hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus patients should “incorporate” the preliminary data into consideration by doctors “in the decision-making they make on a one-on-one basis.”
  • Trump wished North Korea leader Kim Jong Un well amid unverified news reports reporting that he was in grave condition following an undisclosed surgery earlier in the month.
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Mona Salama