Pence, Fauci to brief lawmakers on coronavirus

Pence, Fauci to brief lawmakers on coronavirus

Vice President Pence and other top members of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE’s task force on the novel coronavirus will hold conference calls this week with all House and Senate lawmakers, officials said.

Pence and his team will hold separate telephone briefings Wednesday with House Democrats and House Republicans. On Thursday, they will brief Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans.

Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNIH official 'to retire' after RedState criticism of Fauci surfaces The Hill's 12:30 Report: War over the Supreme Court North Carolina couple married 50 years dies minutes apart of coronavirus holding hands MORE, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Rear Adm. John Polowczyk are expected to join the calls.

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The four briefings come as the Trump administration, governors and congressional lawmakers struggle to combat the deadly virus — and the fallout from shutting down the U.S. economy in order to stop the spread. 

More than 11,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. and the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits is expected to surge much higher than the record 10 million who filed unemployment claims during the past two weeks. 

Last month, Trump signed into law a historic $2 trillion coronavirus health and economic rescue package — the CARES Act — that Republicans and Democrats in Congress had raced to complete. But there is already acknowledgement from the White House and congressional leaders that more aid will be needed in the coming weeks and months for small businesses, cities and counties, and the millions who’ve lost their jobs.

On a call with rank-and-file Democrats on Monday, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally CDC causes new storm by pulling coronavirus guidance Overnight Health Care: CDC pulls revised guidance on coronavirus | Government watchdog finds supply shortages are harming US response | As virus pummels US, Europe sees its own spike MORE (D-Calif.) said the price tag of the next aid package, which she’s branded as CARES 2, would need to be at least $1 trillion. But House and Senate lawmakers, who are hunkering down at home in their districts, are not expected to return to Washington until April 20 at the earliest.

House Democrat leaders have been holding near-daily conference calls with their members on the coronavirus response. On the Monday call, former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenFed formally adopts new approach to balance inflation, unemployment Federal Reserve chief to outline plans for inflation, economy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - First lady casts Trump as fighter for the 'forgotten' MORE warned Democrats that this week’s jobless numbers will be even higher than the jaw-dropping 6 million who filed for unemployment benefits last week.

After the Pence briefing on Wednesday, House Democrats said they will hear from Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mary Mathews BurwellBogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration The swamp wasn't drained — it expanded Pence, Fauci to brief lawmakers on coronavirus MORE, who served as President Obama’s Health and Human Services secretary during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak.