February 26, 2020

President Trump delivered a briefing on the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday evening, telling Americans that the "risk remains really low" and "we're very, very ready for this."

Trump also announced that Vice President Mike Pence will lead the government's response to the coronavirus. During Pence's time as governor of Indiana, the state reported the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United States, and Trump said he has "a certain talent" for dealing with health emergencies.

There are 81,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and nearly 3,000 people have died from it. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to prepare for an outbreak in the United States. The White House has asked Congress for $1.8 billion to fight coronavirus, with Democrats saying more is needed. Trump said he hopes "we're not going to have to spend so much," and he'll be "satisfied" with whatever amount is received.

Trump also brought up the flu, saying he was surprised to learn that "the flu in our country kills from 25,000 people to 69,000 people a year. That was shocking to me, and so far if you look at what we have with the 15 people, they're recovering. One is pretty sick but will hopefully recover, but the others are in great shape." The CDC said there are 60 cases in the United States, not 15. Catherine Garcia

11:36 a.m.

July is still a long way off. but some Democratic strategists are nervous the novel coronavirus pandemic could still affect their party's national convention, where the eventual presidential nominee would normally make a speech.

Even if the United States is relatively successful in suppressing the virus' spread by the time the Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, there could very well still be limits on large crowd gatherings. That leaves the party in a difficult spot, Politico reports.

Right now, Democratic National Committee officials are planning to forge ahead, but some strategists are fearful not only that it won't happen, but for the consequences of a cancellation. "That Thursday night speech by our nominee could be seen by 50 or 60 million Americans, most of whom haven't paid a minute of attention to the primary," said Bob Mulholland, a DNC member from California. "That's the conversation that take us to winning."

Their worries are amplified by the fact the Republican National Convention isn't scheduled until late August, which likely gives it a better chance of going forward as planned. "If we have to cancel and [President] Trump has a convention with people screaming and yelling ... that's an advantage to Trump," Mulholland said. "Because nobody saw us except some text they got, and then they watched Trump." Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

11:25 a.m.

This is not the greatest TikTok in the world. This is just a tribute.

Jack Black, apparently bored out of his mind in quarantine like the rest of us, has made a glorious debut on TikTok, posting an incredible video of himself dancing while wearing a cowboy hat, boots, and no shirt. You better believe he gets at least one impressively high kick in there during a performance so full of energy that his hat goes flying off his head at one point, prompting him to dance even more aggressively into the camera.

Black called this his "Quarantine Dance," throwing in the hashtags "#distancedance" and "#boredathome" onto some much-needed celebrity content that's actually not out of touch amid the coronavirus pandemic. He's apparently just getting a handle on TikTok, though, as this dance was followed up by not one but three separate videos in a row that all start with him getting abruptly cut off after asking, "Am I going?"

Whether he's hoping to entertain all his fans stuck at home or training for a dance-off with the devil, Black's TikTok page may just have become our new favorite show. Brendan Morrow

11:02 a.m.

Dr. Anthony Fauci sees some positive news finally coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fauci, the U.S.'s top infectious disease doctor who's leading its coronavirus response, spoke to CNN's Jim Sciutto on Tuesday about the ongoing crisis. While COVID-19 case numbers are still expanding every day, Fauci suggested "we're starting to see glimmers" of social distancing having its intended "dampening effect."

"You're starting to see that the daily increases are not in that steep incline, they're starting to be able to possibly flatten out," Fauci said of case numbers across the country. But he was cautious and showed no sign he would recommend lifting stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, saying "I don't want to put too much stock on it, because you don't want to get overconfident, you just want to keep pushing in what you're doing."

Fauci also acknowledged America's mass shortage of medical supplies, particularly protective masks. While there aren't enough masks to go around right now, once they are in better supply, "I believe there will be some very serious consideration about more broadening this recommendation of using masks," he said. That topic will be on the table for the White House's coronavirus task force on Tuesday.

And as for chloroquine, the drug that has been used for decades to treat malaria that President Trump touted as a possible treatment, Fauci said there hasn't yet been any "definitive evidence that this works" for treating COVID-19. Kathryn Krawczyk

10:26 a.m.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams is getting frustrated with those Americans who still aren't practicing social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Adams spoke to Fox News on Tuesday morning after President Trump extended the federal government's social distancing guidelines until the end of April. Once again encouraging Americans to stay home and keep their distance from others, Adams decried reports of some not taking these warnings to heart.

"I'm a little bit frustrated, because you're still seeing pictures on Twitter, on TV, of people getting together, being too close, putting themselves in a situation where they could end up in the hospital," he said.

While Adams didn't cite specific examples, images emerged on Monday of a crowd of people in Manhattan gathering to look at the USNS Comfort hospital ship. The New York Post reports that "NYPD warned the crowds about violating social distancing, but did not issue any tickets."

However, Adams said "we really hope and expect" that people will listen to the administration's guidelines, and "the way we solve this problem is by everyone coming together" to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

This comes after Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force's response coordinator, said Monday the U.S. could be facing between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 even if "we do things together well, almost perfectly." But she added that the administration isn't sure "that all of America is responding in a uniform way to protect one another, so we also have to factor that in."

9:54 a.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) isn't backing out of the 2020 race just yet.

Sanders, who remains about 300 delegates behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, was Late Night with Seth Meyers' first remote guest of the COVID-19 pandemic Monday night. Meyers asked Sanders if he still saw a path to the nomination, "and if not, why are you remaining in the race?" Sanders had an answer for both questions.

Acknowledging the delegate count, Sanders said "we have a path," but "it is, admittedly, a narrow path." "We have a strong grassroots movement who believe that we have got to stay in the race" to fight for his platform's principles, Sanders continued. "We need Medicare-for-all," to "raise the minimum wage to a living wage," and "paid family and medical leave," Sanders said — issues that have been highlighted throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Watch the whole interview below. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:51 a.m.

Goldman Sachs' outlook for the United States economy in the short-term has grown bleaker.

The investment bank is now estimating the U.S. GDP will contract 34 percent from the previous quarter between April and June because of the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic. That's a pretty significant shift from it's previous 24 percent projection, which, as CNN notes, was already a shockingly severe estimate.

Goldman switched things up because it now thinks the U.S. labor market is bracing for a heavier-than-anticipated collapse — it expects unemployment to rise to 15 percent by the middle of the year, rather than 9 percent as earlier estimates showed.

But a harsher fall also means a stronger rebound. The bank now thinks the economy will rebound even more sharply between July and September, though that likely comes with the caveat that the U.S. continues to manage and suppress the pandemic, allowing people to get back to work so commerce can start revving again. Read more at CNN. Tim O'Donnell

8:49 a.m.

Three-quarters of the U.S. and about two-thirds of the world's people have been asked or ordered to stay home in a bid to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The result is a mixture of boredom, anxiety, hardship, and binge-watching TV and other screen-based entertainment. While doctors and nurses risk their lives to treat the sick, grocery workers toil to keep shelves stocked, and other essential workers keep society from breaking down, entertainers are trying to do their job, too.

It isn't always entertaining — at least not in the way they probably intended — but the quality of the performances has improved as actors, musicians, and other performers adapt to broadcasting themselves from home. On Monday night — the beginning of Week 3 of the quarantine for many Americans — late night TV hosts started beaming in musical guests, most of whom performed from their own living rooms. At best, the result is an intimate show to fill the time and even stir the heart.

The Late Late Show's James Corden, taping from his garage, checked in with performers around the world — BTS in South Korea, Dua Lipa in London, and tenor Andrea Bocelli in coronavirus-ravaged Italy. "Andrea, is there a message that you'd like to send to the people of Italy or any of the people around the world that are watching this right now?" Corden asked. "I would say, be positive," he said, and hope that "soon everything will be finished." Then he played and sang a lovely rendition of his first hit, "Con Te Partiró."

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and his sons Sammy and Spencer performed their song "Evergreen" from their family bathroom for Jimmy Kimmel, and it might just inspire you to try and teach your family to sing in harmony.

John Legend performed a stripped-down version of a new song, "Actions," from his living room for Corden.

OneRepublic was not social distancing when they preformed "Didn't I" for Corden.

And Jon Bon Jovi called in to The Tonight Show from his home studio in New Jersey to talk with Jimmy Fallon about feeding the needy and his crowdsourced coronavirus-crisis song "Do What You Can." Watch below. Peter Weber

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