48ºF

WATCH: President Trump, White House coronavirus (COVID-19) task force hold daily briefing

President Donald Trump speaking during the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on April 2, 2020.
President Donald Trump speaking during the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on April 2, 2020. (WSLS 10)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus (COVID-19) task force held the daily briefing Friday afternoon.

The task force holds a press conference each day to provide an update on the country’s response to COVID-19.

Watch the briefing below (or click here):

Read a COVID-19 update from the Associated Press below:

The coronavirus outbreak finally snapped the United States’ record-breaking hiring streak of nearly 10 years as employers cut 701,000 jobs because of the pandemic that’s all but shut down the nation’s economy.

The unemployment rate jumped to 4.4% from a 50-year low of 3.5%.

Meanwhile, U.S. and European medical workers struggling to save ailing patients Friday watched supplies of medicine, protective equipment and breathing machines dwindle by the hour.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:

—Does another 2008 Great Recession or even a 1930s-like Great Depression loom in the U.S.? It seems almost certain after nearly 10 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for unemployment benefits in the past two weeks — a record high that reflects the near-complete shutdown of the U.S. economy.

—A makeshift intensive-care unit in northeastern Spain looks nothing like the hospital library it once was. Inside, the tension is palpable. Medical workers are underequipped and wearing improvised protective gear as they treat the critically sick.

—With coronavirus deaths climbing rapidly in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday he will use his authority to take ventilators and protective gear from private hospitals and companies that aren’t using them, complaining that states are competing against each other for vital equipment in eBay-like bidding wars.

— The Trump administration is formalizing new guidance to recommend that many Americans wear face coverings in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, as the president is aggressively defending his response to the public health crisis.

—A U.S. newspaper industry already under stress is facing an unprecedented new challenge. Readers desperate for information are more reliant than ever on local media as the coronavirus spreads across the U.S. But newspapers and other publications are under pressure as advertising craters. They are cutting jobs, staff hours and pay, dropping print editions -- and in some cases shutting down entirely.

— The under-construction Athletes Village for the Tokyo Olympics could be used as a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients. The Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike, has been talking about the possibility. The massive development on Tokyo Bay is to house up to 11,000 Olympic and 4,400 Paralympic athletes and staff during the games.


About the Authors: