US press secretary defends Trump over blocking Fauci's testimony, Pelosi attacks Trump’s focus on reopening, President reportedly questions accuracy of death toll, Trump reverses course and says coronavirus taskforce will stay, US begins to reopen but businesses and customers in no rush to get back
Trump has reportedly suggested the US coronavirus death count is an exaggeration, even though experts have said the official tally is likely an undercount, considering some people died of the virus without being tested. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied the report at her briefing moments ago.
McEnany defended Trump’s decision to block Dr Anthony Fauci from testifying before the House. The press secretary described the request from the Democratic-controlled House as a “publicity stunt,” even though Fauci will testify before the Senate next week.
Trump said the White House coronavirus task force would “continue on indefinitely,” a reversal from his comments yesterday suggesting the group’s work would be winding down. The president said today he “had no idea how popular the task force is.”
Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution limiting his ability to take military action against Iran without congressional approval.“This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party,” the president said. It’s unlikely that either legislative branch will have the two-thirds majority to override Trump’s veto.
Nancy Pelosi criticized Trump for pushing to reopen the country, as health experts warn relaxing social distancing restrictions too soon could cause a surge in coronavirus cases. “Death is not an economic motivator, stimulus, so why are we going down that path?” Pelosi said.
The Supreme Court declined to block Pennsylvania’s shutdown order. The justices, echoing an earlier decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, affirmed Democratic governor Tom Wolf’s right to shut down most non-essential businesses to limit the spread of the virus.
Trump said Dr Rick Bright is a “disgruntled guy.” Bright has said he was removed from his role overseeing the development of a coronavirus vaccine after he refused to promote hydroxychloroquine as a potential coronavirus treatment.