The White House on Monday abruptly canceled a coronavirus task force briefing that had been previously scheduled for 5 p.m., marking the third day without such a briefing.
During an appearance on Fox News Monday morning, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on that the president would hold a press availability during a meeting with industry executives scheduled for Monday afternoon instead of holding a briefing.
McEnany, who insisted there was not an effort to cut back on briefings, said the task force would brief the media later this week.
“We’re looking at different ways to showcase this president leading,” she said on Fox News. “The briefing is a key component of that. We will have briefings this week. But again, the media needs to not read into what’s happening and look at this as an opportunity for the president to speak to the American people.”
“Make no mistake, the president will be briefing the American people this week. Millions and millions tune in to watch him and see his leadership,” McEnany added.
The original White House guidance for both Trump and Vice President Pence listed an on-camera briefing with the coronavirus task force at 5 p.m on Monday, reports The Hill.
Shortly after McEnany’s Fox News interview, the White House issued updated guidance removing the briefing.
The decision to remove the briefing from the schedule comes after Trump was widely criticized over remarks he delivered on Thursday at a briefing suggesting medical experts study the use of disinfectants to treat COVID-19.
The U.S. COVID-19 death toll topped 56,000 on Monday as confirmed cases neared 1 million.
UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany reversed course Monday afternoon and announced that President Donald Trump will hold a coronavirus press briefing just hours after saying that the event had been canceled.
“UPDATE: The White House has additional testing guidance and other announcements about safely opening up America again,” the press secretary wrote. “President @realDonaldTrump will brief the nation during a press conference this evening.”