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Watch: Coronavirus task force holds daily briefing

The administration announced plans to reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured patients infected with the coronavirus.

  • By Barbara Sprunt/NPR
President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington.

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(Washington) — As the economy reels from record unemployment and states continue to increase their social distancing guidelines, the federal government is working to implement relief measures as a result of the historic economic relief package signed into law just eight days ago.

The White House task force is expected to brief the nation on its response to the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday.

Watch the briefing live.

President Trump and his task force has been meeting with the press every day to address economic relief measures for Americans and American businesses.

The administration announced on Friday plans to reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured patients infected with the coronavirus. That had been a key question throughout the week, as concerns over how people who have neither private insurance nor qualify for Medicaid will pay for treatment or testing.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin vowed to get direct payments to Americans within two weeks, one week ahead of the initial timeline. But concerns abound over whether that will be possible, with a memo drafted by House Democrats suggesting it may take as long as 20 weeks for some to get payments.

On Friday evening, the White House announced Trump nominated Brian Miller to serve as the overseer of the multi-trillion-dollar federal spending associated with the coronavirus response effort. House Democrats had called for more oversight of the package.

These economic measures come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new recommendations Friday for personal protection against the contagion.

The CDC suggests people wear cloth or fabric face coverings when in public to help prevent spreading of the virus, particularly by asymptomatic people. The guidelines aren’t particularly detailed, and Trump has emphasized that this is a voluntary measure. He said he doesn’t expect to wear a face mask himself.

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