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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

911's digital makeover

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A next-generation 911 would allow the nation's 6,000 911 centers to accept texts, videos and photos.

The big picture: U.S. emergency communications have remained stubbornly analog, but Congress is about to take another run at dragging 911 into the digital age.

Biden enlists business leaders in campaign for vax mandates

President Joe Biden at a meeting with business leaders Sept. 15, 2021. Photo: Oliver Contretas/Getty Images

President Biden convened a meeting of top business leaders Wednesday to build support for a sweeping vaccine mandate that will affect most of America's workers. The message: Vaccines work, and the stalled uptake is holding back the economy.

Why it matters: As vaccine rates have flattened across the country, business leaders have the power to impact their employees’ decisions. Many corporate leaders had been looking for stronger federal guidance to lean on.

44 mins ago - Health

COVID cases are falling, but deaths are rising

Data: N.Y. Times; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The pace of new coronavirus infections in the U.S. is beginning to slow — a potential sign that the states hit hardest by the Delta wave may be starting to turn things around.

Yes, but: Deaths are still rising, and it’s still too early to know whether schools might drive cases back up again.