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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Alex Wong / Staff/Getty Images

The White House is working with the Ad Council, a nonprofit that produces public services announcements (PSAs), and many of the country's top TV and radio networks to develop a set of coronavirus-related PSAs, it announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The Trump administration is pulling out all stops to make sure the public is aware of safety measures and precautions around the novel coronavirus. TV ads are particularly important to this effort, given that most people are stuck at home and, presumably, watching more television.

Details: All PSAs will run during airtime that will be donated by the media and coordinated through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services, the White House said. All of the spots will direct audiences to visit coronavirus.gov.

  • NBCUniversal, which includes cable networks like Bravo, MSNBC, CNBC and others, as well as broadcasters including NBC and Telemundo, will also produce TV and digital spots in English and Spanish.
  • ViacomCBS will do the same across its portfolio of brands, which includes CBS, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and others. Its children's channel, Nickelodeon, will also develop service content on appropriate topics for kids, such as handwashing.
  • iHeartMedia will run audio PSAs across its network of radio stations.
  • ABC/Walt Disney Television will promote messaging for parents and families across its platforms, which include Disney Channel, ABC, ESPN and more.

The PSAs will cover topics such as social distancing, personal hygiene and mental health.

Included in the PSAs will be first lady Melania Trump, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx and other administration officials.

Between the lines: Federal Communications Commission chair Ajit Pai last week urged broadcasters to air public service announcements featuring prominent personalities.

  • The National Association of Broadcasters, which represents hundreds of local stations, started airing a COVID-19 campaign last week.
  • Sources say that NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith was on call with the participating TV networks, Vice President Mike Pence and others about this campaign.

Be smart: The White House says the campaign will benefit high-risk populations, which tend to be the elderly. Television, in particular, is a good medium for reaching that demographic.

Go deeper

Acting Capitol Police chief: Phone logs show Jan. 6 National Guard approval was delayed

Pittman at a congressional tribute for fallen officer Brian Sicknick. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cellphone records show former USCP chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant-at-arms as early as 12:58pm on Jan. 6, but he did not receive approval until over an hour later.

Why it matters: Sund and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.

Manhattan prosecutors reportedly obtain millions of pages of Trump's tax records

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Manhattan district attorney is now in possession of millions of pages of former President Trump's tax and financial records, CNN first reported, following a Supreme Court ruling that allowed prosecutors to enforce a subpoena after a lengthy legal battle.

Why it matters: Trump fought for years to keep his tax returns out of the public eye and away from prosecutors in New York, who are examining his business in a criminal investigation that was first sparked by hush-money payments made by Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen during the 2016 election.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The digital dollar is now high priority for the Fed

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. is starting to get serious about a central-bank-backed digital currency, with recent comments from top officials laying out the strongest support yet.

Driving the news: On Tuesday Fed chair Jerome Powell told Congress that developing a digital dollar is a "high priority project for us," but added that there are "significant technical and policy questions."

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