White House coronavirus task force holds Thursday briefing

National News

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR/AP) –The White House coronavirus task force held their daily briefing Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, the number of cases worldwide passed the 1 million threshold. According to John Hopkins University & Medicine Tracker, there are 236,339 cases confirmed nationwide, with 5,648 deaths.

In the briefing, President Trump announced the paycheck protection program will launch tomorrow.

Small Business Administration administrator Jovita Carranza said the paycheck protection program will help small companies keep employees on payroll and remain afloat.

Lenders have raised concerns that they won’t be able to handle the crush of applications as businesses scurry for a cash infusion and help keeping employees on the payroll. The Labor Department announced that unemployment claims soared to 6.6 million last week, more than double the previous week.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration decided to raise interest rate to 1% instead of 50 basis points to make the program more attractive to community lenders

The administration also announced new guidelines for nursing homes to help protect seniors.

Thursday, the Associated Press reported the Trump administration is working on finalizing new guidance recommending many, if not all, Americans wear non-medical face coverings when leaving home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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