President Trump, Vice President Pence, coronavirus task provide update on COVID-19 pandemic

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President Trump, Vice President Pence and the coronavirus task force held a press briefing Sunday to provide an update on how the US is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice President Pence said that there are 2,900 cases of coronavirus in 49 states so far.

He went on to say that for the American people as a whole, the risk of contracting the virus remains low and health officials are going to continue to focus on keeping those who are most vulnerable safe.

Testing for the virus will be free for everyone, according to Pence.

More than 10 states have already implemented drive-thru coronavirus testing. As of Monday, more than 2,000 labs will be testing patients, Pence said.

Americans 65 or over with a cough, fever or other symptoms will be given emphasis in regards to testing.

The president urged citizens to stop buying large quantities of supplies.

“There is no need for anyone in the country to hoard…food supplies,” President Trump said.

President Trump reportedly has tested negative for the coronavirus.

In a press conference Saturday, he also said families affected by the virus will be given paid sick leave.

Vice President Pence said the focus of the US coronavirus task force is testing and dealing with capacity issues in hospitals.

Americans in Europe are being encouraged to return home, and a travel ban to the United Kingdom and Ireland will become effective at midnight on Monday, Vice President Pence said.

The White House says it’s now conducting temperature checks on anyone who’s in close contact with President Trump and Vice President Pence.

White House spokesman Judd Deere says the move is being taken out of an abundance of caution in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

President Trump has had multiple direct and indirect contacts with people who have tested positive for the pandemic virus. 

The House approved legislation Saturday to provide direct relief to Americans suffering physically, financially and emotionally from the coronavirus pandemic.

Passage came after President Trump had declared the outbreak a national emergency, freeing up money and resources to fight it and threw his support behind the congressional aid package.

His emergency declaration unleashed as much as $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the crisis.

Most patients have mild or moderate symptoms such as a fever or cold, but severe symptoms including pneumonia can occur, especially in the elderly and people with existing health problems.

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