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White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx on May 22. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence will hold an in-person White House coronavirus task force briefing on Friday, the first in roughly two months.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic is getting dramatically worse in almost every corner of the U.S., Axios' Sam Baker and Andrew Witherspoon report.

  • The CDC now thinks the realistic estimate of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. could be as high as 23 million — 10 times the current tally — due to asymptomatic carriers.

Between the lines: The White House said that social distancing would be in place for reporters covering the event — a departure from President Trump's Rose Garden event in early June.

  • The White House did not immediately comment on whether NIAID director Anthony Fauci and task force coordinator Deborah Birx would speak at the briefing.

Go deeper

Covering a cover-up in real time

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley briefed outside Walter Reed just before noon ET. Photo: Ken Cedeno/Reuters

What is the actual state of President Trump's health — now and over the past 24 hours?

Why it matters: It’s one of the most high-stakes questions in the world, and I cannot answer it, despite having spent since 5 a.m. on Friday on my phone with sources inside and close to the White House.

Pence to hold campaign rally in Arizona

Vice President Mike Pence at a MAGA rally in Gilford, NH on Sept. 22. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence will hold a MAGA rally in Peoria, Arizona next Thursday, following the campaign's plan to keep the VP on the road after President Trump tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday.

Why it matters: Pence, who tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday and reportedly again on Saturday, will likely be speaking to a large crowd that will not be socially distanced unless new guidelines are issued.

Trump campaign launches "Operation MAGA" after president's COVID-19 diagnosis

A group of U.S. President Trump supporters gather outside Walter Reed Hospital where he is receiving treatment after COVID-19 diagnosis. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Trump's re-election campaign on Saturday announced the launch of "Operation MAGA," a "full marshaling of top-level surrogates, campaign coalitions and Trump supporters to rally behind the president and carry the campaign forward" after Trump was sidelined due to his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Why it matters: The announcement comes just 31 days before Election Day. The Trump campaign said on Friday that all previously scheduled campaign events involving the president were being moved to virtual events or would be temporarily postponed.

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