President Trump, coronavirus task force update, ‘very significant progress’ in COVID-19 war

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force held a briefing Friday on the country’s fight against the COVID-19 virus.

Trump said most of the funding from the newly signed $484 billion bill would flow to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides money to small businesses to keep workers on their payroll.

President Trump says in the last 7 days there has been “very significant progress.” He says there’s even a decline in the number of positive tests.

“Our economy in the not too distant future will be just as strong or even stronger than it ever has been before,” said President Trump.

Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA Commissioner, says they have a team of more than 18,000 doctors and scientists working around the clock to test drugs and vaccines for the novel coronavirus.

“We’ve been lasered-focused with working with both industry and academia to make this happen,” said Hahn.

According to the FDA’s Stephen Hahn, the first at-home swab test was authorized by the FDA this week. Hahn says a total of 63 tests have been approved.

“We are leaving no stones unturned when it comes to finding treatment for COVID-19….72 trials of therapeutics are underway,” added Hahn.

According to Hahn, the FDA has only authorized 4 antibody tests. There are a lot of other tests out there that are not authentic he says.

Vice President Pence met with governors over the phone to hear about progress they’re making on expanding tests all across the country.

As of Friday morning, Vice President Pence says 5.1 million Americans have been tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“As testing increases across the country, cases will increase as well,” Vice President Pence added.

Vice President Mike Pence ended the news conference by saying, “We are slowing the spread, we are protecting our most vulnerable and I truly believe that the day will soon come when we will heal our land, and we will be able to reopen America and put this great nation back to work.”

During the daily coronavirus task force briefing, only President Trump, Stephen Hahn of the FDA, and Vice President Pence spoke. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx were not in attendance.

The briefing was shorter than normal, and the President did not answer questions at the end.

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