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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

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.

The new grifters: outrage profiteers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Republicans lost the Senate and narrowly missed retaking the House, millions of dollars in grassroots donations were diverted to a handful of 2020 congressional campaigns challenging high-profile Democrats that, realistically, were never going to succeed.

Why it matters: Call it the outrage-industrial complex. Slick fundraising consultants market candidates contesting some of their party’s most reviled opponents. Well-meaning donors pour money into dead-end campaigns instead of competitive contests. The only winner is the consultants.