President Trump will tour National Institutes of Health facilities Tuesday as members of his COVID-19 coronavirus task force return the White House briefing room to regular use.
Trump will make afternoon stops at the NIH’s Vaccine Research Center and Viral Pathogenesis Lab in suburban Maryland.
Vice President Mike Pence is joining Trump for the NIH tour, which will include a 2:30 p.m. roundtable briefing with experts.
Pence, the administration’s point person on the outbreak, will convene a coronavirus task force meeting at 4:15 p.m. in the West Wing’s Situation Room before the task force hosts a White House briefing at 5:30 p.m.
Pence told reporters Monday evening that the administration would return to the long-disused briefing room every day.
Trump is seeking to reassure the public and markets after the Dow plunged more than 3,500 points last week. On Monday he gathered drug executives at the White House and spoke optimistically about developing a vaccine, while noting many people die each year from the flu.
On Monday, the Dow recovered 1,290 points — its largest single-day jump.
Before he tours the NIH on Tuesday, Trump will address a conference of local US county leaders at the Washington Hilton, where he’s also expected to soothe nerves.
Since Saturday, the virus has killed six people in the US. There are just 89 confirmed cases, but individuals in California and Washington state have no known links to infected individuals. Researchers say hundreds more may be infected.
Globally there are about 90,000 cases of the coronavirus, with more than 3,000 deaths. The vast majority are in China, where the virus was first discovered in late December.
Source: New York Post