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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin denied on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that President Trump has gotten things "wrong" about his own coronavirus proposals, despite the administration having to walk back several of the policies Trump outlined in his Oval Office address on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The president's credibility is being called into question during a global health crisis that is likely to worsen.

The big picture: Trump made three false claims during his speech on Wednesday. First, he said that Americans returning from Europe will be exempt from the travel ban if they "have undergone appropriate screenings."

  • The Department of Homeland Security later clarified that the ban only applies to foreign nationals who have been in the Schengen region of Europe within 14 days of arrival in the U.S. Permanent U.S. residents, citizens or immediate family of citizens are not subject to the policy.

Trump also stated that health insurers had agreed to "waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments."

  • In fact, insurers had only agreed to waive copayments for testing.

Finally, Trump claimed that the travel restrictions would apply to a "tremendous amount of trade and cargo."

  • Trump clarified in a tweet that the ban "stops people not goods." Pressed on this by ABC's Jon Karl, Mnuchin said: “We were very clear that people misinterpreted the comment on cargo.”
  • "He wanted to reassure the American public," Mnuchin added. "I don't think in an Oval Office address you can address every single issue as you're discussing it."

Driving the news: On Friday, Trump said in a press conference that Google is "very quickly" building a website to help people determine whether they need a test for coronavirus and that "Google has 1,700 engineers working on this right now."

  • But Google said Verily, the life sciences unit of its parent company Alphabet, is "in the early stages of development" on such a tool that would only apply to the Bay Area with the hope of expanding over time.
  • Mnuchin would not explain the inconsistencies in Trump's remarks. Asked when the website would be available, Mnuchin told ABC: "I really don't know. I'm sure it's as quickly as possible."

Go deeper

Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.

Trump pressures Barr to release so-called Durham report

Bill Barr. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump and his allies are piling extreme pressure on Attorney General Bill Barr to release a report that Trump believes could hurt perceived Obama-era enemies — and view Barr's designation of John Durham as special counsel as a stall tactic, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Speculation over Barr's fate grew on Tuesday, with just 49 days remaining in Trump's presidency, after Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he said the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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