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WATCH: Coronavirus Task Force Holds Briefing Amid Record Unemployment Numbers

President Trump holds a briefing with the coronavirus task force at the White House on April 1.
Image credit: Mandel Ngan

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Just two days after the White House coronavirus task force warned Americans to brace for more than 100,000 deaths in the coming weeks as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the task force is briefing again amid a massive surge in the unemployment rolls.

Nearly 10 million people have filed for unemployment in the last two weeks alone, according to the Labor Department.

The White House convened a briefing to provide an update on its response to the pandemic at 5 p.m. ET. Watch live here.

Ahead of the Thursday briefing, President Trump issued an order under the Defense Production Act to “facilitate the supply of materials” to six companies making ventilators. Those companies are General Electric, Hill-Rom Holdings, Medtronic, ResMed, Philips and Vyaire Medical.

In a statement, the president said the order will help domestic manufacturers “secure the supplies they need to build ventilators needed to defeat the virus. I am grateful to these and other domestic manufacturers for ramping up their production of ventilators during this difficult time.”

Trump said the order will remove obstacles in the supply chain, but didn’t go into specifics on the nature of the obstacles.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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