white house

Staffers in the West Wing have been directed to wear face masks in the White House, except when at their own desks, a Trump administration official told NPR.

Editor's Note: For more on this government report, see this story.

Updated at 3:11 p.m. ET

President Trump's nominee to serve as America's top spy vowed on Tuesday to operate independently in response to bipartisan questions as to whether he could keep politics out of intelligence work.

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas., assured both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that if confirmed as director of national intelligence, he would not apply a partisan filter to reporting, shade conclusions to please Trump, or apply inappropriate tests to workers in the intelligence community.

Courtesy Oxfam

COMMENTARY

America’s immigrant labor hypocrisy — especially Trump America’s immigrant labor hypocrisy — stinks. And right now, as we used to say in Indiana, the smell could knock a buzzard off a manure wagon.

Or perhaps in this case I should say it could make a meat-packing plant seem fragrant.

Andre Borges / AP

COMMENTARY

President Trump turned up the pandemic chaos this week by halting U.S. funding of the World Health Organization and ordering his name slapped on U.S. Treasury relief checks. His Brazilian buddy, President Jair Bolsonaro, has effectively responded by saying: “Hold my beer.”

Updated at 7:29 p.m.

President Trump says he will halt U.S. funding of the World Health Organization while his administration reviews the organization's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

"Today I am instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," Trump said Tuesday in a briefing at the White House.

Updated at 11:13 a.m. ET

President Trump is expected to specify officially on Tuesday who will help him decide when — and how — portions of the country can get onto a path to normal after the coronavirus disaster.

Trump has said the choices associated with that goal may be the most consequential he'll make as president. He made clear on Monday that he considers them his to make, not those of the council, local officials or state governors.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

One month ago today, President Trump declared a national emergency.

In a Rose Garden address, flanked by leaders from giant retailers and medical testing companies, he promised a mobilization of public and private resources to attack the coronavirus.

"We've been working very hard on this. We've made tremendous progress," Trump said. "When you compare what we've done to other areas of the world, it's pretty incredible."

But few of the promises made that day have come to pass.

President Trump assailed the World Health Organization on Tuesday, and indicated that he will consider putting a hold on funding it.

In a media briefing at the White House, Trump twice stated that the United States funds the majority of the organization's budget. According to the WHO, the United States provided 14.67% of its funding in 2018-2019.

The WHO has been the most prominent global organization leading the strategy to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET, April 20

As COVID-19 surges in places throughout the country, Americans are left to wonder, "When will my state hit its worst point?"

The Trump administration is set to recommend that people who live in areas with high transmission of the coronavirus wear masks in public to avoid further spread of the virus, a White House official tells NPR's Tamara Keith.

Mayors in New York and Los Angeles have already urged people in their cities to use face coverings in public.

President Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday that he was waiting for guidance from public health experts on whether people should wear masks in public.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

COMMENTARY

You could say I’ve got pandemic in my blood. My first American ancestor came to this country in 1665 escaping London’s bubonic plague, which killed a quarter of the city's population.

Updated at 2:20 a.m. ET

The Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced early Wednesday that the White House and Senate had reached a deal for an unprecedented $2 trillion spending package aimed at propping up individuals, businesses and the nation's health care system amid the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.

White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland made the announcement at about 1 a.m. ET.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal," Ueland said.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

States hit hardest by the spread of coronavirus will see drive-through and walk-through testing sites set up this week, the White House said on Sunday, a shift that will provide more information about how widely the virus has spread across the country.

The sites each will be able to screen 2,000 to 4,000 people per day, with priority given to health care workers, first responders and people age 65 and older with respiratory symptoms and fevers above 99.6 degrees.

Updated at 10:19 p.m. ET

President Trump said Monday that the White House is planning to ask Congress to pass a payroll tax cut and relief for hourly wage earners in order to assist workers who may be feeling the financial pinch amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump said that top administration officials will be meeting with Republican members of the House and Senate on Tuesday to discuss the possible payroll tax cuts and help for hourly workers.

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