President Trump said Friday at the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing that there is evidence the “aggressive strategy” the government took is working. After only short statements from Mr. Trump, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and Vice President Mike Pence, Friday’s briefing ended without any questions from reporters. Other fixtures of the briefing, including Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, were not present.
CBS News’ Weijia Jiang was the only reporter who was able to get a question in to anyone. She asked Hahn if it was true that the FDA has no review of the antibody tests on the market, and there is no way to check their accuracy.
Hahn said under the policy, manufacturers have to validate their tests, tell the FDA the tests have been validated and let people know that those tests were not authorized by the FDA.
Additionally, Hahn said the FDA has authorized four tests and there are “more in the pipeline.” Hahn said they are working to approve the tests that have been “self-validated.”
After remarks by Pence, the briefing ended without any other questions. Shortly after, Axios reported that sources said Mr. Trump plans to “pare back” the daily briefings. Mr. Trump has been widely criticized after suggesting at Thursday’s briefing that health experts look into the possibility of using disinfectant for coronavirus patients, perhaps by injection. On Friday, those remarks were “sarcastic.”
At the beginning of the briefing, Mr. Trump claimed half of Americans live states opening their economies.
“We’re opening our country,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s very exciting to see. We have a lot of talent involved. From governors to people who just stand there and help you with the doors. Our country is in a great place and it’s going to be greater than ever before.”
Pence said 5.1 million Americans have been tested. On Friday, the death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 50,000.