Coronavirus Task Force update on COVID-19 response – watch live stream today

Members of the Coronavirus Task Force, charged with leading the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, are scheduled to hold a briefing at 5 p.m. Thursday. The death toll from COVID-19 in the United States is likely to hit 50,000 in a couple of days, and there is no indication the pace of the nation’s losses — in terms of both lives and the economy — is about to slow significantly.

Members of the House are returning to Washington, D.C., from their home districts for a vote on the $484 billion emergency relief package that replenishes the quickly depleted Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans to small businesses struggling because of the epidemic.  

How to watch the Coronavirus Task Force briefing

The measure, passed by the Senate on Tuesday, also boosts funding for hospitals and provides money for coronavirus testing. President Trump has indicated he will sign the legislation.

Administered by the Small Business Administration, the loan program aims to ensure businesses keep employees on the payroll and can also pay their own bills. Already, more than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment

Governors in nearly all 50 states have issued stay-at-home orders and mandated nonessential businesses to close as part of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The number of U.S. workers who are unemployed is set to rise again Thursday when the Labor Department releases its weekly jobless figures.

Some governors have started rolling out plans to ease restrictions. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp plans to allow nonessential businesses — hair salons, bowling allies and tattoo parlors — to reopen Friday. President Trump said Wednesday he disagrees with Kemp’s plan.

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