White House Coronavirus Task Force Holds Briefing : NPR

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President Trump, center, and Vice President Mike Pence, left, speak speak next to Rep. Karen Whitsett, D-Mich., at the White House Monday.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images


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Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump, center, and Vice President Mike Pence, left, speak speak next to Rep. Karen Whitsett, D-Mich., at the White House Monday.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The White House’s coronavirus response task force is holding a briefing Tuesday afternoon at which President Trump could identify new advisers for post-disaster normalization.

Trump said he would be naming a number of people to serve on committees to advise him on when and how parts of the United States might open back up after going dormant to try to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Tuesday’s briefing also follows a flap over whether Trump has the power to overrule governors on those kinds of decisions — or whether he has the power and might choose not to use it.

Ultimately, Trump said on Tuesday at an event ahead of the briefing that he would be working “with” governors after a few of them rejected his claims of authority.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, for example, a Democrat with whom Trump has sparred during the coronavirus disaster response, said that she would reserve for herself some of the key decisions about what is best for her state.

“We’re probably the best ones to be able to make a decision when it’s time to safely re-engage our economies,” she told NPR on Tuesday.

Groups of big East Coast and West Coast states announced on Monday they would decide by regional consensus about how to approach their strategies for normalcy given how closely they’re connected by metropolitan areas, transit and interdependent economies.

The briefing is scheduled for 5 p.m. Watch the briefing live here.

One announcement not expected at Tuesday’s briefing is about an agreement for more coronavirus relief legislation. Talks appear frozen between Trump, Republicans and Democrats — led in the House by Speaker Nancy Pelosi — over the next round of assistance for an economy badly battered by the pandemic.

The House and the Senate both said on Tuesday they would not return until May 4, putting the earliest possible date for action on any legislation a few weeks away.

Trump and congressional leaders agree in principle on the need for more support for the economy but have struggled to get from that consensus to a nitty gritty agreement that can pass both houses of Congress.

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