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

Ezekiel Emanuel, special adviser 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: As the number of confirmed cases reaches 60 in the U.S., 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.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Catch up quick: At the briefing, Trump said the risk to Americans is "very low" and the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next, as he announced Vice President Mike Pence would lead the administration's response to the virus.

  • Trump said he's willing to accept whatever Congress deems appropriate to spend on combating the coronavirus, after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer countered the administration's $2.5 billion request with a proposal of $8.5 billion.
  • Trump also said Tuesday night's Democratic debate contributed to stock market losses, and he repeatedly compared the coronavirus to the flu, saying he was shocked to learn the flu kills 25,000–69,000 people a year in the U.S.
What they're saying:
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement: "The American people need a well-coordinated, whole-of-government, fully-funded response to keep them safe from the coronavirus threat. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has mounted an opaque and chaotic response to this outbreak."
    • Pelosi criticized Trump again for leaving key health positions vacant and said Trump's budget "called for slashing almost $700 million from the Centers for Disease Control." "[T]he Administration continues to devalue Americans’ health security by ransacking funding from other vital public health needs," she added.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a statement he was concerned by "the inadequate and incompetent response we have seen from Donald Trump and his administration." He said it's "outrageous" that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar would not guarantee during Congressional testimony Wednesday that a coronavirus vaccine would be affordable to all.
  • Joe Biden told a CNN town hall, "We need to invest immediately; we should've done it from the beginning — the moment the virus appeared, but we're getting late. We've got good scientists, and I just hope the president gets on the same page as the scientists."
  • Mike Bloomberg tweeted: "Trump's slow-witted response to the coronavirus has already put American lives at risk."
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a CNN town hall that she didn't think the president's response had been sufficient.
    • "I'm going to be introducing a plan to take every dime that the president is now spending on his racist wall at our southern border and divert it to work on the coronavirus," she said.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), the only Republican to vote to convict the president for abuse of power in the impeachment trial, said Tuesday, "I'm very disappointed in the degree to which we've prepared for a pandemic, both in terms of protective equipment and in terms of medical devices that would help people once they are infected," according to The Hill.

The other side: Axios has contacted the Trump administration for comment. During his briefing, Trump accused Democrats of politicizing the issue, accusing Pelosi of "trying to create panic."

Go deeper: The coronavirus is Trump's slow-burn crisis

Go deeper

DeSantis declares state of emergency after deadly Miami-area condo collapse

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency after a portion of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AP.

The latest: The executive order will allow for federal assistance as the state continues its search-and-rescue operations. Officials have accounted for 102 people who lived in the high-rise Champlain Towers South, but 99 people remained unaccounted for by mid-afternoon, said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County at a press conference.

1 hour ago - World

Afghan president visits D.C. amid growing fears of Taliban takeover

An Afghan soldier stands guard at a mosque in Kabul. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty

As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was making his way to Washington to meet with President Biden, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the U.S. intelligence community believes his government may be toppled within six months of America's withdrawal.

Why it matters: As the Taliban gains territory and the U.S. pulls its remaining forces out, hopes of a potential peace deal in Afghanistan are giving way to fears of a rapid Taliban capture of Kabul.

1 hour ago - Health

Exclusive: Bipartisan group of senators urges Blinken to vaccinate Americans abroad

Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are leading an effort urging the Biden administration to coordinate with the Defense Department to donate supplemental COVID-19 vaccine doses to U.S. embassies and consulates.

Why it matters: Millions of Americans living in countries where they are not considered eligible for the vaccine or those living in places where vaccines are not being authorized by the FDA or the World Health Organization may have to wait for months or even years to receive a vaccine.