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Trump praises Fed's decision to slash interest rates

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Posted at 10:51 AM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-15 18:16:28-04

The White House's coronavirus task force provided an update on the administration's response to the pandemic as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to about 3,000 on Sunday.

During brief comments, President Donald Trump praised the Federal Reserve's decision to slash interest rates to nearly zero, saying he was "very happy." Trump had pressured the apolitical agency for days to slash interest rates in the hopes of boosting the economy.

"You won't hear anything bad from me (about the fed) unless it's a few months from now," Trump said.

Trump also addressed the latest information from the CDC, which now confirms that more than 3,000 Americans are confirmed to have contracted the disease, with estimates for those infected much higher.

Trump left the podium without taking questions. He did not address his test for COVID-19; the White House said Saturday that Trump had tested negative for the virus, despite the fact that he came into contact with at least two people that have since tested positive for the disease.

Trump administration officials also addressed the thousands of Americans who are returning to the country amid a 3--day travel ban to Europe. The influx of passengers arriving in America resulted in hours-long customs lines at the 13 designated arrival hubs across the country.

Officials said Homeland Security and the CDC had made some adjustments to the medical screening process in the hopes of speeding up those lines.

According to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States has tripled in recent days, and the death total throughout the country has risen to 57.

According to the database, confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. neared 3,000 as of 10:30 a.m. ET. That number has tripled since Wednesday morning when the number of confirmed cases reached 1,000.

The tally only includes cases confirmed by local health departments, so the number of infections in the United States is likely much higher. While the FDA granted emergency approval for new COVID-19 testing methods, the United States is still only testing about 3,000 patients a day for the virus. Countries like South Korea are testing about 20,000 people for the virus daily.

The vast majority of coronavirus-related deaths have occurred in Washington state, where a number of nursing home patients contracted the disease last month. Forty of the 57 deaths that have been recorded in Washington state.

In recent days, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, New York and Virginia have all announced their first coronavirus-related deaths.