Jul 12, 2018

Kim Jong-un sends Trump letter of appreciation

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a letter to President Trump on Thursday thanking him for his commitment to improving relations between the two countries during last month's summit in Singapore.

Timing: The letter, in which Kim addressed Trump as "Your Excellency Mr. President," came the same day that North Korean officials failed to show up for a planned meeting with their U.S. counterparts at the demilitarized zone.

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WHO health official leads criticism of Trump's coronavirus response

President Trump with members of the new coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, special advisor to the director general of the World Health Organization, told MSNBC Wednesday he found "most" of what President Trump said at his briefing on the novel coronavirus "incoherent."

The big picture: The top health professional, who was a health policy adviser in the Obama administration, is among several leading figures — in particular, Democrats — to criticize the president for his response to the outbreak in recent days.

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Coronavirus updates: U.S. probes possible community spread as more countries report cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The CDC said Wednesday U.S. clinicians have found the novel coronavirus in a person who did not recently return from a foreign country nor knowingly have contact with anyone infected, as six more countries reported their first cases.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. South Korea has the most cases outside China, with 1,595 infections confirmed by Wednesday night. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 453 cases have been confirmed.

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Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response

Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In the wake of a market sell-off and warnings from health officials that there's a real threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., Trump sought to reassure the nation and Wall Street that the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy