Coronavirus Live Updates White House Races to Contain an epidemic Among Staff

Coronavirus Live Updates White House Races to Contain an epidemic Among Staff

It is horrifying to go to work,” a top Trump administration official stated. The jobless rate could also rise above 20 percent. States continue struggling with reopenings.

Racial bias in medical aid could also be contributing to the disproportionately high rate at which Covid-19 is killing African-Americans.

A hot spot at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The Trump administration is racing to contain an epidemic of Covid-19 inside the White House, as some senior officials believe that the disease is already spreading rapidly through the warren of cramped offices that structure the three floors of the West Wing.

Three top officials leading the government’s response effort have begun fortnight of self-quarantine after the announcement of positive tests by two members of the White House staff — one among President Trump’s personal valets and Katie Miller, the spokeswoman for vice chairman Mike Pence.

The officials in quarantine are Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

Others who came into contact with Ms. Miller and therefore the valet are continuing to report for duty at the White House.

“It is horrifying to travel to figure ,” Kevin Hassett, a top economic adviser to the president, said on the CBS program “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Mr. Hassett said he sometimes wears a mask within the White House, but he conceded that “I think that I’d be tons safer if i used to be sitting reception than i might be getting to the West Wing.”

He added: “It’s alittle , crowded place. It’s, you know, it’s a touch bit risky. But you’ve got to try to to it because you’ve got to serve your country.”

Dr. Fauci was scheduled to testify at a Senate committee hearing on Tuesday; he and other witnesses will now appear by videoconference rather than face to face consistent with the office of the committee chairman, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

The discovery of the 2 infected staff members has prompted the White House to intensify its procedures to combat the coronavirus, including daily tests for a few senior staff, increased use of masks and more rigorous screening of individuals entering the complex.

The concern about an epidemic at the White House — and therefore the swift testing and get in touch with tracing being done to contain it — underscores the broader challenge facing Americans as Mr. Trump urges them to start returning to their own workplaces. Public health officials still warn that the virus remains ravaging communities across the country which precautions are still needed.

Mr. Trump himself continues to reject guidance from the C.D.C. to wear a mask when meeting with groups of individuals . But a senior administration official said the president was spooked that his valet, who is among those that serve him food, had not been wearing a mask. Mr. Trump was annoyed to find out that Ms. Miller had tested positive, and has been growing irritated with people that get too on the brink of him, the official said.

President Trump’s top economic advisers are bracing for the percentage to climb above 20 percent within the coming months, because the coronavirus pandemic continues to stifle economic activity and wipe out jobs.

The percentage leapt to 14.7 percent in April, the Department of Labor reported on Friday — the very best level since the good Depression — as lawmakers debate subsequent round of stimulus measures to buttress the cratering economy. Congress has already pumped trillions of dollars into the economy within the hope of shoring businesses and stabilizing financial markets, but the work losses show little sign of abating.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that the roles figures would worsen before they got better. He said the important percentage — including people that are underemployed also as those entirely without work — could soon approach 25 percent.

“There are very, very large numbers,” Mr. Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The White home is encouraging governors to start reopening their states safely but quickly. Mr. Mnuchin suggested that not reopening could cause “permanent” economic damage, ultimately posing a greater risk to the country than reopening.

“Unlike the good Depression, where you had economic issues that led to the present , we closed down the economy,” he said.

White House officials are considering proposals for an additional economic relief package, which they hope will include a payroll tax cut and provisions to guard businesses from liability for bringing employees back to figure . But Mr. Mnuchin said more legislation wasn’t imminent.

Kevin Hassett, a White House economic adviser, said on the CNN program “State of the Union” that the Trump administration was watching to ascertain what effect the primary reopenings have in energizing the economy.

“We think that we’ve a flash — the posh of a flash — to find out what’s happening ,” Mr. Hassett said, “so that subsequent step are often prudent.”

Even so, Mr. Hassett predicted that the jobless rate could hit 20 percent next month, and he suggested that restrictions may need to be reimposed if coronavirus cases picked copy .