October 19, 2020

Trump holds briefing as Congress debates new coronavirus relief bill

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President Donald Trump is expected to hold a press briefing on Monday as Congress continues to negotiate the parameters of the next coronavirus relief package.

Lawmakers have struggled to find common ground on the bill, with Democrats arguing to keep a $600 a week jobless benefit in the proposal and Republicans hoping to slash the payments to $200 a week. There are several other stumbling blocks the two parties are haggling over. 

Trump resumed news briefings on the pandemic last month, as cases soared across much of the nation along with a rising death toll. 

Members of the coronavirus task force have not appeared at any of the latest briefings, and there is no indication any of them will join Trump during Monday’s session. 

The White House coronavirus task force, which is led by Vice President Mike Pence and includes Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, had regularly held briefings on Covid-19 earlier this year. 

The president dominated those near-daily briefings. But he ended them in late April, shortly after he received blanket condemnation for speculating about whether disinfectants could be injected into people to treat the virus.

The coronavirus outbreak has spread worldwide, with more than 18.1 million confirmed cases and over 689,992 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has had more than 4.6 million cases and  at least 154,860 deaths, according to the latest tallies, more than any other country. 

CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.

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