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White House Holds Briefing As It Looks Toward Resurrecting Economy

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President Trump and the leading immunologist on the White House coronavirus task force attempted to present a united front to the nation on Monday, following speculations of a shakeup within the pandemic response committee.

Calling earlier remarks "a poor choice of words," Dr. Anthony Fauci — one of the more recognizable faces on the coronavirus task force — and Trump pushed back on reports that Fauci was on the outs with the president.

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The pair's remarks come in response to weekend comments by both Fauci and Trump that seemed to imply a degree of disagreement between the two on the national coronavirus response.

"Obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives," Fauci said in an interview with CNN on Sunday.

Later that evening, Trump retweeted a message from a supporter that read in part: "Time to #FireFauci."

Monday's coronavirus task force briefing comes on the heels of a weekend of COVID-19 deaths that raised the nation's death toll to the highest in the world.

As the pandemic continues to ravage the globe, Trump says he plans to unveil a council dedicated to "reopening" the country soon. Members of the committee are expected to be announced this week.

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Experts have recently projected a more optimistic outlook on the coronavirus' ultimate impact, lowering the predicted number of U.S. lives lost to 60,000 people from original projections of 100,000-200,000. But the country is still bracing for severe social and economic fallout from the spread of the virus.

Trump last week said he will surround himself with the "greatest minds" to advise him on the best way to approach restarting the country's halted economy.

"We're going to make a decision and hopefully it's going to be the right decision."

This article originally appeared on NPR.org.


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