President Trump, White House coronavirus task force hold Friday briefing

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR/AP) — President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force briefed the press on the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic Friday evening.

The United States Friday became the first country to surpass 100,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the case tracker by Johns Hopkins University. Deaths in the U.S. topped 1,500.

In his opening statement, Trump said his administration is taking new action to ensure that America has the medical resources and equipment needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, issuing an order Friday that seeks to force General Motors to produce and prioritize ventilators for coronavirus patients.

“We’ve delivered thousands of them,” Trump said. “But we’re going to be doing a lot more.”

Trump said the administration is working on contracts with major ventilator suppliers in an effort to remove barriers to supply the needed units to hospitals around the country.

Earlier Friday, the President signed the $2.2 trillion rescue package after it was approved by the House. Under the plan, many single Americans would receive $1,200, married couples would get $2,400, and parents would get $500 per child

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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