Published On: Sun, Apr 5th, 2020

Watch live: Coronavirus Task Force members give update on COVID-19 response

President Trump and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force are holding a briefing Sunday night with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Trump tweeted earlier that the task force would meet ahead of the briefing.

The president said by Tuesday, 3,000 military and public health workers will have been deployed across the country. He also mentioned that the U.S. has conducted and received results of more than 1.6 million coronavirus tests. He also said that treatments for coronavirus — including erythromycin — be looked at closely. Mr. Trump said the U.S. has stockpiled some 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that has not been clinically proven to be safe or successful in treating coronavirus.

“It would be a shame if we didn’t turn to these drugs early if it turns out they are helpful,” he said during the briefing.

Mr. Trump said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has delivered critical ventilators to several states battling COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus:

  • 500 to New Jersey
  • 200 to Louisiana
  • 600 to Illinois
  • 100 to Massachusetts
  • 300 to Michigan

New York and New Jersey have become a hot zone, Mr. Trump said, and mentioned the news that the fatality rate there has dropped is “maybe a good sign.” “We wish Governor Cuomo and all the people in New York best wishes,” he said.

In New York state, the epicenter for the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., will receive 600,000 N95 masks to medical personnel on the frontlines.

Donald Trump — coronavirus task force April 5, 2020
President Trump speaks during an unscheduled briefing after a Coronavirus Task Force meeting at the White House on Sunday, April 5, 2020, in Washington, D.C.


Mr. Trump had warned Saturday that the upcoming week will be the “toughest” one yet in the crisis. “This will probably be the toughest week between this week and next week, and a lot of death, unfortunately,” Mr. Trump said Saturday. 

Sunday’s briefing comes just hours after 10 Downing Street announced Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for coronavirus 10 days ago, has been hospitalized. He “continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus,” including a high fever, a spokeswoman said in a statement.

It was described as a “precautionary step” taken on the advice of his doctor, the spokeswoman said.

Also in the U.K., Queen Elizabeth gave a rare national address Sunday night, emphasizing the need for “self-discipline” and unity. “We will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again, we will meet again,” she said.

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