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Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET

In a grim assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump on Saturday predicted that the coming week would be "one of the toughest weeks" of the outbreak. At the same time, the president expressed frustration with the toll that social distancing measures are taking on the economy, saying, "We cannot let this continue."

With data projecting cases in several regions hitting their peaks within seven days, the president told reporters that the United States could see its deadliest week since the coronavirus outbreak began.

Easter is next Sunday, April 12. But the country isn't close to being "opened up" by then, as President Trump said he'd like to see during a March 24 news conference, a suggestion that was panned by experts.

Mention government financing public works projects and sooner or later someone's going to bring up the Works Progress Administration.

That conjures scenes from the 1930s, the breadlines and soup kitchens and the wan-faced men selling apples on the street. And also the image of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the man elected president in 1932 promising a "New Deal" to end the Great Depression.

Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, criticized governors Thursday, saying they don't have a handle on their own supplies of masks and ventilators needed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

In a rare appearance in the White House briefing room, Kushner urged governors and some senators to be more resourceful in their own states instead of looking first to the federal government for help.

Scientists are currently carrying out a trial to see whether a drug that's currently used to treat lupus and to prevent malaria might also help treat COVID-19.

Their interest is based on laboratory studies showing that the drug, hydroxychloroquine, blocked the coronavirus from entering cells. There's no solid evidence, as yet though, that the drug actually is an effective COVID-19 treatment.

In fact, medical experts have warned against buying it for that purpose, because that might exhaust supplies for people who actually need it.

The Trump administration announced Friday that doctors and hospitals can use federal aid to cover the costs of treating uninsured people who are suffering COVID-19.

The federal payments, part of a $100 billion aid package to health care providers, will specifically cover COVID-19 care. But some health policy experts say the program will be difficult to administer, because it's sometimes impossible to separate the cost of treating COVID-19 from the cost of treating a patient's other health problems, like kidney failure.

Updated at 8:35 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that people wear cloth or fabric face coverings, which can be made at home, when entering public spaces such as grocery stores and public transit stations. It is mainly to prevent those people who have the virus — and might not know it — from spreading the infection to others.

Updated at 7:57 p.m. ET

Just days after the White House coronavirus task force warned Americans to brace for sobering death tolls, the administration is vowing to reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured patients infected with the coronavirus.

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Ventilators, masks, personal protective equipment - they are all needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, but governors in the hardest hit areas say they are not getting what they need from the federal government.

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Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, made a rare appearance during yesterday's coronavirus briefing. He criticized governors for not having a handle on their supplies of masks and ventilators.

Updated at 3:48 p.m. ET

White House doctors have started giving rapid coronavirus tests to people who are "in close proximity" to President Trump or Vice President Pence.

With cases of COVID-19 surging and medical supplies rapidly dwindling, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is calling on federal officials to scale up aid efforts for the state, saying, "It feels like we entered this war, and it is a war, with less ammunition than we needed."

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Are enough Americans following national guidelines to reduce the spread of the coronavirus?

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Well, Deborah Birx, a key member of the White House pandemic task force, says no.

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The people working to get President Trump reelected are planning for how they are going to have to address the coronavirus pandemic on the campaign trail. They see an opportunity to rewrite the narrative and double down on Trump's America First agenda.

When Amol Jethwani interviewed for a job on Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign in December, the benefits were unlike anything he had heard of for political campaign field workers.

"They offered an incredible benefits package, which is unheard of for field staff, offering $8,000 a month for a regional role in addition to health care, technology, laptops, cellphones," said Jethwani.

During his Thursday night briefing with the coronavirus task force, President Trump repeated a claim that the United States has done more testing for the contagion on a per capita basis than any other country.

Vice President Mike Pence said the White House may ask hospitals to use some of their federal aid to cover the medical costs of COVID-19 treatment for people who have lost their health insurance in recent weeks, along with their jobs.

Some medical experts have called on the administration to allow newly uninsured people to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare. But at a White House briefing on Thursday, President Trump rejected that idea, saying that "we're doing better than that" with what he called "a cash payment."

Updated at 5:22 a.m. ET Friday

The doors at the Trust Women clinic in Oklahoma City were locked on Tuesday, when the young woman arrived for her appointment. Over the phone, a clinic worker told her the news – the facility had to shut down because of an order from Gov. Kevin Stitt banning most abortions.

Wisconsin's April 7 primary will proceed amid the coronavirus pandemic, but with significant changes, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge William Conley said he could not change the date of the election but chastised Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled legislature for not rescheduling the election.

Updated at 7:37 p.m. ET

The government has gone to work disbursing the billions of dollars Washington has committed to sustain the economy after the deep shock it has undergone in the pandemic, the White House promised on Thursday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jovita Carranza, head of the Small Business Administration, vowed that some of the first systems for loans or payments would be up and running as soon as Friday.

Updated at 8:28 a.m. ET

People who do not have direct deposit information on file with the Internal Revenue Service may have to wait up to 20 weeks to receive cash payments included in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation, according to a memo drafted by House Democrats.

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President Trump wants to bring back the tax write-off for business meals and entertainment, but critics say reviving what is known as the "three-martini lunch" tax break is not the answer to the problem that restaurants face right now.

Trump is pushing Congress to restore the measure that gave corporations a tax break for the cost of food and entertainment for clients and potential customers. He says it will give restaurants a leg up when they reopen after the social distancing guidelines for the coronavirus are lifted.

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET

The coronavirus has delayed another big event. This time it's the Democratic National Convention.

Amid ongoing questions about when traditional presidential campaigning — and the travel and large crowds it entails — will be able to resume, the Democratic National Committee has delayed its nominating convention until the week of Aug. 17. It had been scheduled for the week of July 13.

The event in Milwaukee is now scheduled for the week before the Republican National Convention, which is set to be held in Charlotte, N.C.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will create a bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis to be chaired by Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.

The committee will focus on transparency, accountability and oversight and will have the power to issue subpoenas, she said on a call with reporters.

"This select committee is about the here and now," Pelosi said. "We have to work together to get through this, but as we do, we don't want to make more mistakes."

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