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President Donald Trump left Friday’s coronavirus task force briefing without taking a single question just a day after stunning medical experts by using the daily briefing to float bizarre and dangerous ideas about possible coronavirus treatments, like injecting disinfectants.
Reporters tried to shout questions at the president to no avail Friday as Trump ended what was an abnormally short briefing. The entire briefing, which featured Trump talking at the start, lasted roughly 20 minutes.
During Thursday’s briefing, Trump used an “emerging result” from the Department of Homeland Security that showed sunlight and heat can weaken the spread of coronavirus to pose frightening questions about problematic coronavirus era treatments.
At one point, he asked whether UV light could be used to help people with the virus, whether sunlight could be brought “inside the body,” or whether disinfectant materials could be injected into bodies or used to cleanse bodies in the same way they disinfect surfaces.
President Donald Trump participates in a signing ceremony for H.R.266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, with members of his administration and Republican lawmakers in the White House in Washington D.C., on April 24.
A COVID-19 specimen collection kit is prepared by personnel of the District of Columbia COVID-19 testing site in United Medical Center’s parking lot in Washington D.C., on April 24.
Post-it notes for first responders are posted on the wall of the Anderson Mall during the coronavirus pandemic, on April 24, in Anderson, South Carolina.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center shortly before President Trump signed an additional COVID-19 relief package on April 24.
An airline arrival and departure board shows several canceled flights at the Tampa International Airport on April 24, in Tampa, Florida. Business at the airport has been at a near standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Chains separating the back half of a public bus from the driver’s space hang to protect MTA bus drivers from COVID-19 exposure on April 24, in New York.
Food Bank for New York City volunteers hand out packages at a mobile food pantry during the coronavirus pandemic at Barclays Center on April 24, in New York.
Marietta Theater In The Square’s marquee displays “Be Safe, Stay Healthy” as the coronavirus pandemic continues on April 24, in Marietta, Georgia.
Protesters against the coronavirus shutdown rally in front of State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 24.
NFL superstar Vernon Davis (C) and restaurateurs Sahil Rahman (L) and Rahul Vinod (R), through a partnership between the Vernon Davis Foundation and RASA Restaurant, help to prepare free meals for frontline healthcare workers battling the coronavirus pandemic at the George Washington University Hospital on April 24, in Washington, D.C.
People walk around Times Square as some screens are illuminated in blue as part of the “Light It Blue” initiative to honor healthcare workers, in New York City, on April 23.
In this image from video, the vote on approving the almost $500 billion coronavirus package is displayed on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on April 23.
A healthcare worker waits to administer a test at a drive-thru testing site in Providence, Rhode Island, on April 23.
Raelene Critchlow, receives a visit from her granddaughter Maddie Carter, and great-grandchildren Beckett, Levi, and Camille, at Creekside Senior Living, on April 23, in Bountiful, Utah. Window visits help seniors connect to families despite coronavirus restrictions.
Empty streets are seen in front of the closed Chicago Board of Trade, in Chicago, Illinois, on April 23.
A healthcare worker writes “cute dimples” on a sign as a firefighter appears at her window during a parade of thanks at UCLA hospital, in California, on April 23.
Arfa Yousuf gives her martial arts instructors a thumbs-up during a belt test at her home in Richardson, Texas, on April 23.
A bust of President Abraham Lincoln is visible behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she arrives on Capitol Hill on April 23 in Washington D.C.
A sign asking for financial aid is displayed at Michigan Avenue during the coronavirus pandemic on April 23 in Chicago, Illinois.
Yen Vo, the co-owner of Madam Vo, fills containers with food to donate to a hospital on April 23 in New York City.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers takes a COVID-19 test at Aria Diagnostics in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 23.
A girl holds a sign while driving past the state capitol building with her dad as demonstrators demand that businesses be allowed to open up, people allowed to work, and lives returned to normal on April 23 in Topeka, Kansas. The protest was part of a growing national movement against stay-at-home orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Sgt. Gabrielle Babbitt organizes boxes of food at a Cleveland Food Bank distribution area on April 23 in Cleveland.
A sign thanking the first responders is displayed at Michigan Avenue which remains mostly dormant due to the spread of coronavirus on April 23 in Chicago, Illinois.
A woman walks through an almost-deserted Times Square in the early morning hours on April 23 in New York City.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Max Rose wear face masks as they walk down the House steps of the Capitol before the House vote on the $483.4 billion economic relief package on April 23 in Washington D.C.
A man wearing a mask takes part in a vigil outside Queensboro Correctional Facility on April 23 in New York City.
Hotel room lights in the shape of a heart on the side of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District during the pandemic on April 22, in New York City.
UNLV School of Nursing assistant professor Dr. Rhigel Jay Tan, a licensed nurse practitioner in psychiatric mental health, makes custom-made face shields called “iCareFaceShields” at his home for health care workers amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The USNS Comfort is docked at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s West Side in the Hudson River, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in New York City, as seen from Weehawken, New Jersey, on April 22.
Phlebotomist Sabrina Famiglietti, center, has Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, left, and wife Rita, right, look over information as they prepare to donate blood aboard a OneBlood blood donation bus, on April 22, in Miami.
Damon March, Chief Operating Officer for Huamne Pennsylvania, holds a sign asking people in their cars how many cats they have, so that they can be given the appropriate amount of pet food at the Spike’s Pet Pantry location in Douglassville, on April 22.
Tents housing the homeless line a street in downtown Los Angeles, on April 22. Los Angeles, the city with one of the largest homeless populations in the country, is trying to move 15,000 homeless individuals to hotels or emergency shelters in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
A man waves an American flag in support of all essential workers during the pandemic on April 22, in New York City.
Couple Sal Lopez and Ciara Miramontes work out with their dog Beya by their side at Shoreline Park during the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease, in Long Beach, California, on April 22.
Protesters drive in their vehicles near the Virginia State Capitol on April 22 in Richmond, Virginia. The protesters say Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s “stay-at-home” order and restrictions on gatherings of 10 or more people due to the COVID-19 pandemic are too excessive and want the state reopened.
Volunteers from the First Baptist Church of Plant City distribute food donated by the church, Feeding Tampa Bay and One More Child on April 22 in Plant City, Florida.
Demonstrators take part in Operation Grid-Lock to Re-Open New York to protest against lockdown measures in the wake, during the outbreak of coronavirus in Albany, New York on April 22.
Pablo Suarez De Miguel restocks his barber and beauty supply store with essential items in San Antonio,Texas on April 22. San Antonio remains under stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak and residents are required to wear face coverings or masks whenever in public.
Nurses from Central Vermont Medical Center stand on the Statehouse lawn on April 22, 2020, in Montpelier, Vermont to counter a protest by a small group against Vermont’s stay-at-home order.
President Donald J. Trump speaks at the Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. on April 21.
Volunteers hand out supplies at a drive-through food giveaway as the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Los Angeles, California on April 21.
A medic leaves a house after responding to a call amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Everett, Massachusetts on April 21.
A worker wears a mask at the Boeing Renton Factory, where 737 MAX airliners are manufactured, as commercial airplane production resumes following a suspension of operations last month in response to the coronavirus pandemic as efforts continue to help slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Renton, Washington on April 21.
A man is tested for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a fire department testing station for the homeless on Skid Row, in Los Angeles, California on April 21.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) adjusts her face mask as she arrives inside the Capitol after it was announced congressional leaders and the White House agreed on nearly $500 billion more in coronavirus relief for the economy, bringing to nearly $3 trillion the amount allocated to deal with the crisis, in Washington, D.C. on April 21.
Line handlers help dock the oil tanker, Texas Voyager, as it pulls into its mooring to offload its crude oil at Port Everglades on April 21 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The price of West Texas Intermediate oil futures for delivery in May fell yesterday to -$37 per barrel for the first time in history. The price continues to be at record lows as demand for crude oil has decreased amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Salvation Army workers wear masks out of concern about the coronavirus as they distribute food in front of a Salvation Army food pantry on April 21 in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
A customer pays for produce purchased from a vendor during the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on April 21 in San Francisco, California.
Nurses protest against the lack of personal protection equipment amid the covid-19 pandemic in front of the White House in Washington, D.C on April 21.
Slideshow by photo services
His suggestions were immediately slammed by medical experts and the president later backtracked by claiming he was being “sarcastic.” Trump has previously touted the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment but he largely backed away from promoting the drug this week after research undercut its efficacy.
Stephen Hahn, head of the Food and Drug Administration, briefly spoke at the start of Friday’s briefing but wasn’t at the podium long enough to be asked out about the president’s outlandish suggestions the day before.
He took one question from a reporter on the topic of faulty antibody tests. And Vice President Mike Pence gave a presentation detailing progress in different states. But after he was finished, the briefing wrapped and officials cleared the room immediately.
Axios reported minutes after Friday’s briefing ended that the press conferences, which have been Trump-centric affairs and sometimes bordered on two hours long, could soon be very different. The report said Trump could cease his daily presence at the briefings in favor of less lengthy stops when he does attend.
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