President Trump has faced heavy criticism for his administration’s coronavirus response.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Topline: President Trump pulled out of a scheduled Friday visit to the Centers for Disease Control because he “does not want to interfere” with the agency’s work on coronavirus, as his administration faces heavy criticism for its response to the outbreak and the U.S. confirms more cases.
- Trump was set to visit the CDC’s Atlanta, Georgia headquarters between stops in tornado-stricken Tennessee and his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, but the CDC trip is removed from his public schedule.
- According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the White House said Trump was postponing his visit so he would not “interfere with the CDC’s mission to protect the health and welfare of their people and the agency.”
- Vice president Mike Pence said Thursday that Trump was expected to sign an emergency $8.3 billion coronavirus funding bill at the CDC Friday, according to CNN White House reporter Betsy Klein.
- It remains unclear when or where Trump is expected to sign the legislation.
Crucial quote: “This is not a drill,” said World Health Organization director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus Thursday. “This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops.”
Key background: As of Friday morning, there were 215 coronavirus cases across the U.S., with the death toll standing at 14, according to the New York Times. Several states have declared states of emergency: Washington State, where all but one of the fatalities have occurred, along with California and Maryland. Globally, nearly 100,000 have been sickened and over 3,300 have died, according to the Times. Trump has been criticized for downplaying the threat of the virus, while the administration has faced heat for creating botched test kits and then being too slow in making working kits available.