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White House to resume daily COVID-19 briefings

Trump told reporters in the oval office that he wants to focus the briefings on discussing vaccines and therapeutics.

WASHINGTON — The White House is reviving its public coronavirus task force briefings, and President Donald Trump will again take on a starring role.

Trump says he’ll lead a briefing at 5 p.m. Tuesday, his first since April 27.

The coronavirus task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, briefed the public daily in March and April with Trump participating and dominating many of the televised sessions. But the briefings disappeared in late April after ratings began to slide and Trump mused about the possibility of using disinfectants inside the body to kill the virus.

Trump told reporters in the oval office Monday that he wants to focus the briefings on discussing vaccines and therapeutics. 

"I think it's a great way to get information out to the public as to where we are with the vaccines and the therapeutics and generally speaking where we are," Trump said.

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Some of Trump’s closest advisers had publicly advocated for the return of briefings led by the president, who has slid against Democratic rival Joe Biden in recent polls.

Last week, White House counselor and former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway publicly advocated for the briefings as the president's approval of the pandemic falls.

"I just think the people want to hear from the president of the United States," she told reporters Friday. "Doesn’t have to be daily. Doesn’t have to be for two hours. But in my view it has to be."

The virus has killed at least 140,000 Americans and is surging again in much of the country.

Credit: AP
President Donald Trump speaks during a news briefing at the White House, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Washington, as White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow, left, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, look on. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)