Abled.ALERT: C19 Global briefings. Image: Photo of U.S. President Donald Trump leading the Coronavirus Task Force Briefing at the White House.

Briefings & Interviews

In this section, we have compiled a hub of government COVID-19 briefings from English-speaking countries, so that you can have a convenient world view of the evolution of the pandemic and geographic responses to it.

On days when a government press conference hasn’t taken place, we present interviews with relevant government officials or an overview from national media outlets where a summary of the latest COVID-19 updates are available.

Global Briefings June 25- 30 Summary

Highlights:

United States

*US Senate: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, told members of Congress on Tuesday that although he can’t predict the ultimate number of infections and deaths related to the coronavirus, “it’s going to be very disturbing.”

*The White House Coronavirus Task Force meets for the first time in almost two months as U.S, sets new record for daily COVID-19 infections.

*President Donald Trump signs an Executive Order on skills-based hiring.

*Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says the president has been briefed on reports about Russian payments to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. service members in Afghanistan.

*Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, delivered remarks on COVID-19 and reopening the nation’s economy in Wilmington, Delaware.

*U.S. Comptroller-General Gene Dodaro gets grilled in Select Subcommittee hearing over $1.4 billion dollars in stimulus payments that were sent to dead people.

*Governors’ briefings from California Florida, New York and Texas where COVID-19 cases are surging, resulting in a Texas County’s Red Alert.

United Kingdom

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finished outlining his vision to rebuild the UK after the coronavirus crisis.

He was keen to describe the plans as a “New Deal”, referencing the plans of Depression-era American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who launched one of largest, most expensive US government programmes after the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Canada

Canada has extended the ban on most foreign travelers to at least July 31, as Air Canada cancels 30 domestic routes and closes 8 stations at regional airports as COVID-19 kills air travel demand.

Canadians will be allowed into EU countries but US citizens shut out.

In Ottawa, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, lead federal ministers providing an update on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

They discuss their most recent modeling data concerning the possible impact of COVID-19 in Canada.

Australia

The Victorian Premier has ordered 36 hotspot suburbs with “unacceptably high” numbers of coronavirus infections into lockdown from Thursday, as the state records another 64 cases and other states exclude Victoria from their border reopening.

WHO (World Health Organization)

WHO Director-General warns that the COVID-19 pandemic is “speeding up” and criticizes governments that have failed to set up reliable testing and contact tracing protocols as global cases surpass 10 million.

European Commission (EC)

The ‘Global Goal: Unite for our Future’ pledging summit organised by the European Commission and Global Citizen mobilised €6.15 billion in additional funding to help develop and ensure equitable access to coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments. The money raised will also support economic recovery in the world’s most fragile regions and communities. See the results and watch the concert video below.

South Africa

The Eastern Cape has asked the national government to assist its overwhelmed health services with SANDF medical teams. National Treasury has also poured close to R8 billion into the province’s health care system. The interventions come at a time when the provincial public health care is near collapse.

United States

US-Senate: June 30

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions convened a hearing to discuss plans for reopening schools and work offices that have been shuttered by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, told members of Congress on Tuesday that although he can’t predict the ultimate number of infections and deaths related to the coronavirus, “it’s going to be very disturbing.”

Drs. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Stephen Hahn, Food and Drug Administration commissioner; and Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, also testified.

Watch the full hearing below.

 

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COVID-19 Task Force June 26

First COVID-19 Task Force Briefing In Nearly 2 Months

The latest data show that, on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (June 23 and June 24), the U.S. surpassed that high-water mark, at more than 31,700 infections per day.

The state of the pandemic in this country is officially worse than it has ever been.

As the members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force held their first press briefing in almost two months, Vice President Mike Pence was pressed twice on why the Trump-Pence 2020 campaign is holding rallies despite federal guidance to avoid large gatherings.

“Well, the freedom of speech, the right to peaceably assemble is enshrined in the constitution of the United states, responds the vice-president.

This video provided by Time.

 

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POTUS July 2

President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnunchin News Conference on the Economy

President Trump held a news conference with reporters at the White House.

He reacted to the latest jobs report, which showed the U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs while the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent in June.

The president also addressed the administration’s response to the recent surge in coronavirus cases.

He was joined by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, who answered reporters’ questions about the economy and additional coronavirus relief legislation.

The president did not answer questions.

This video is via C-Span.

 

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VP July 2

Vice President Pence News Conference with Florida Governor DeSantis

Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speak to reporter in Tampa following a closed-door briefing on the recent spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the state and discuss steps needed to mitigate against further spread.

 

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VP July 1

Vice President Pence Holds News Conference with Arizona Governor

During a trip to Arizona, Vice-President Mike Pence spoke to the media, joined by Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

They talked about the recent spike in coronavirus cases in the state. The vice-president urged residents to wear masks.

 

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COVID-19 Hearing July 2

CDC Director Redfield and NIH Director Collins Address Congress on a Coronavirus Vaccine

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins testified before a Senate subcommittee on U.S. efforts to produce a COVID-19 vaccine quickly also known as “Operation Warp Speed.”

Dr. Collins said everyone working on development is “all in” to ensure that there will be a safe and effective vaccine for the American people by the end of 2020 and having mass quantities of it manufactured in early 2021.

Other topics discussed included ongoing negotiations with biomedical & pharmaceutical companies concerning manufacturing of a vaccine, impacts to existing research of other diseases from the pandemic, and the debate over face masks.

Gary Disbrow, acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) also testified. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services convened the hearing.

The video is via C-SPAN

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Black Caucus July 1

Congressional Black Caucus Briefing on Police Reform

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus held a news conference today on policing reform efforts. Other topics included Confederate symbols and renaming military bases.

 

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Biden June 30

Joe Biden Remarks on COVID-19 & the Economy in Delaware

Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, delivered remarks on COVID-19 and reopening the nation’s economy in Wilmington, Delaware.

In addition to criticizing President Trump’s response to the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, Mr. Biden announced the release of an updated five-point plan aimed at safely reopening businesses while preventing spread of the disease.

Following his remarks, Mr. Biden answered a number of questions from reporters on a variety of topics, including foreign policy and the removal of Confederate-era statues and monuments throughout the U.S.

During the question-and-answer session, Mr. Biden said he was “looking forward” to facing President Trump in debates.

 

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CA July 2

Update: With COVID-19 hospitalizations climbing 56% in just two weeks, California Governor Gavin Newsom is urging residents to avoid crowds and mixing with members of different households during the Fourth of July weekend.

“We are not out of this crisis. We’re still in the first wave of this crisis,” he said.

This video is KTLA5 in Los Angeles.

 

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FL July 2

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) meets with the White House Coronavirus Task Force in Tampa, led by Vice-President Mike Pence.

This video is from WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando.

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NY July 1

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) holds a news conference Wednesday on the Covid-19 outbreak, which has infected more than 393,454 people across the state, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Cuomo said Monday that he could postpone restaurants from reopening their indoor dining spaces, which were scheduled to resume on July 6, as cases appear to be spiking in other states that reopened them.

This video is via CNBC Television.

 

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TX July 2

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday issued a statewide order that requires Texans to wear face coverings in public spaces due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.
This video is via KSAT 12, the ABC Affiliate in San Antonio, Texas.

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TX July 2

Houston’s ABC13’s Eyewitness News anchor Tom Abrahams looked for answers to your questions about COVID-19, business and the Texas economy.

Panelists for this virtual town hall included Gov. Greg Abbott; U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw; State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer; County Judge KP George, Fort Bend County; Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Harris County Pct. 1; Dr. Umair Shah, Harris County Public Health executive director; Dr. Emily Knight, Texas Restaurant Association CEO, and Dr. Laura G. Murillo, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president.

 

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US Senate June 16

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the use of force by police following the death of George Floyd.

Video feed from CBS News.

 

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United Kingdom

UK July 2

It’s been over a week since a UK minister gave a press conference in Downing Street – after daily briefings ended on 23 June. But for the first time since then, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson takes to the podium.

An update of the key points from the coronavirus briefing.

The government says: * Schools will be asked to minimise contact between pupils when they all return in September.

* Parents who keep children out of education will face fines.

* Exams will take place as normal next summer.

* Out-of-school clubs will resume in September.

* 200,000 laptops have been given to disadvantaged pupils.

* Local action in case of coronavirus “flare-ups” will ensure that national shutdowns won’t be needed in future.

* Children with underlying health conditions will be asked to return to school unless there are “local issues” with the virus.

 

This video is from BBC News.

 

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UK June 30

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finished outlining his vision to rebuild the UK after the coronavirus crisis.

He was keen to describe the plans as a “New Deal”, referencing the plans of Depression-era American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who launched one of largest, most expensive US government programmes after the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Here are the main points:

* Johnson said the government must assess its handling of the coronavirus crisis, saying: “There must be time to learn the lessons and we will.”

* He reiterated his plan from the election manifesto to recruit 20,000 police officers, as well as “ending the lunacy that stops us deporting violent criminals”.

* He said he wants to “build back greener and build a more beautiful Britain” by planting 30,000 hectares of trees to “enchant and re-energise the soul”.

* He pledged to build “fantastic new homes” by introducing radical planning reforms, as well as help younger people get on the housing ladder.

* The UK should set a goal for producing the world’s first zero emissions long haul, passenger plane, he said, adding that the country can be a “science super power”.

* He promised the government will offer an “opportunity guaranteed” for every person to have an apprenticeship or in-work placement.

This video is from BBC News.

 

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UK June 23

The UK government gave its daily briefing from Downing Street led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Earlier today, the government confirmed it would be the last of the daily conferences, which have taken place – and been televised on BBC One and BBC iPlayer – since mid-March.

Mr Johnson was joined by chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance – the same line-up as the first press briefing on coronavirus.

Follow the story 👉 https://bbc.in/3fPsNmb

Lockdown to be relaxed in England as 2m rule eased. Get the full story 👉 https://bbc.in/2NmO0Yx

What did we learn from today’s UK briefing?

* Where it is not possible to stay 2m apart, people can stay 1m apart with added precautions, such as plastic screens, not sitting face-to-face, and wearing masks.

* As planned, from 4 July, hotels, pubs, bars, cinemas and many other businesses can open, following Covid secure guidelines.

* From 4 July, members of two different households can meet indoors, and stay over, but (unlike those in ‘support bubbles’) should stay socially distant

* Overall deaths in the UK are returning to normal levels, but the disease has not disappeared and is growing in other parts of the world

* If people only pay attention to the measures that have been eased and not the restrictions, the rate of infections will increase again

* Changing lockdown and social distancing rules is not risk free and will be reversed if needed

* Prof Whitty expects the current situation, where coronavirus is circulating widely, to continue into 2021

This video is from BBC News.

 

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Canada

Nunavut July 2

In Iqaluit, George Hickes, Nunavut’s minister of health, and Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief medical officer of health, provide an update on the territory’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus), and announce the territory’s first presumptive case of COVID-19 infection.

Nunavut is a massive, sparsely populated territory of northern Canada, forming most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Its islands have expanses of tundra, craggy mountains and remote villages, accessible only by plane or boat.

 

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Canada July 1

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, deliver Canada Day messages after visiting the Ottawa Food Bank farm with their family.

 

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Canada June 29

In Ottawa, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, lead federal ministers providing an update on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

They discuss their most recent modeling data concerning the possible impact of COVID-19 in Canada.

 

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Australia | New Zealand

Australia July 3

In Australia, Victoria state has recorded a further 66 new cases of COVID-19, in the wake of reports that up to 10,000 residents have refused testing this week.

Premier Daniel Andrews thanked residents in suburbs currently under lockdown for “making enormous sacrifices” after announcing a funding boost to mental health support in the impacted postcodes.

This video is from 9NEWS Australia.

 

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Australia July 1

In Australia, as 300,000 Victorians come to terms with another lockdown, there are questions to be asked about Australia’s strategy to control COVID-19.

Norman Swan looks at whether it’s up to the task as we move forward into months or maybe years before there’s a vaccine.

This video is from ABC News Australia.

 

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New Zealand July 1

The New Zealand Ministry of Health provides an update on the COVID-19 response in the country. The briefing is led by New Zealand Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

 

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International

WHO July 2

Broadcast on 02 July 2020, direct from the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva Switzerland, WHO officials brief the media on the second Global COVID-19 Research and Development Forum.

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EC June 30

The ‘Global Goal: Unite for our Future’ pledging summit organized by the European Commission and Global Citizen mobilised €6.15 billion in additional funding to help develop and ensure equitable access to coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments. The money raised will also support economic recovery in the world’s most fragile regions and communities.

This amount includes a €4.9 billion pledge by the European Investment Bank, in partnership with the European Commission, and €485 million committed by EU Member States. This brings total pledges under the Coronavirus Global Response pledging marathon, launched by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on 4 May, to €15.9 billion.

Out of the €15.9 billion raised since 4 May, €11.9 billion was pledged by the Member States, the Commission and the European Investment Bank. Out of these €11.9 billion, €6.5 billion was raised between 4 May and 28 May.

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South Africa July 1

President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans not to panic amid the increasing number of Covid-19 infections that have been recorded in the past weeks.

Mr. Ramaphosa was speaking during the virtual Presidential Imbizo on the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday night.

He interacted with citizens across the country through over 80 community radio stations and some SABC platforms. Ntlantla Kgatlhane reports.

This video is from SABC News .

 

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EC & Global Citizen June 27

Hosted by Dwayne Johnson, join us for performances by Shakira, Coldplay, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Justin Bieber and Quavo, Miley Cyrus, Chloe x Halle, J Balvin, Yemi Alade, Christine and the Queen, and more as we celebrate our campaign to get funding for the development and equitable distribution of COVID-19 therapeutics, tests and vaccines for everyone, everywhere.

Global Citizen is a social action platform for a global generation that aims to solve the world’s biggest challenges. On our platform, you can learn about issues, take action on what matters most, and join a community committed to social change. We believe we can end extreme poverty because of the collective actions of Global Citizens across the world. Register to become a Global Citizen and start taking action today: https://www.globalcitizen.org/

 

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DOWNLOADABLE BRIEFINGS

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We were in the midst of our site wide design upgrade when the COVID-19 pandemic hit

We decided to pivot to provide an unbiased and fact-based knowledge hub to enable everyone to gather additional information needed for making self-informed decisions on how to respond to the life-changing challenges posed by the pandemic

Our effort to be as up to date as possible in the COVID-19 coverage, and the resulting pandemic impact on available resources, has pulled time away from our overall build-out. So if you encounter a non-working link or a “Content In Production” message, we appreciate your patience as we do our best to complete our upgrades.

We hope to have our downloadable and audio briefings up to date very soon.

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Descriptive Audio Podcasts

We’ve produced companion podcasts for the Abled.ALERT COVID-19 Briefings that are a descriptive audio track for blind and low vision users.

You’ll find them below the link image for the downloadable briefings.

We hope you find them informative and valuable for making personal health choices during the pandemic.

They are meant for informational use only and should not be considered a substitute for advice from your personal doctor or other health professionals.

Because of COVID-19 circumstances, we are operating at reduced capacity, and have had to delay production of more current briefings, but hope to catch-up shortly.

 

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