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VIDEO: President Trump joins coronavirus task force for daily COVID-19 briefing

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President Donald Trump and members of the National Coronavirus Task Force are preparing to address the media today from the White House in Washington.

Here are some of AP’s top stories today on the world’s coronavirus pandemic:

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY

>> The first alarms sounded in early January that the outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China would ignite a global pandemic. But the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment.

>> Coronavirus patients around the world are rushing to join studies of an experimental drug that showed promise against some similar viruses in the past. Interest in the drug remdesivir has been so great that the U.S. National Institutes of Health is boosting the size of its study.

>> Across the globe, grocery workers are on the front lines during lockdowns. Their stores are deemed essential, and their work puts them close to the public and therefore at risk. They’re also afraid.

>> Historic failures in government response to disasters and emergencies, medical abuse, neglect and exploitation have jaded generations of African Americans into a distrust of public institutions.

>> Millions of dollars in additional funds are being made available to agencies around the world that provide aid to Holocaust survivors, whose advanced age and health issues make them particularly vulnerable to the new coronavirus, the organization that handles claims on behalf of Jewish victims of the Nazis announced Monday.

>> T he loss of hugs, visits and holding hands are being added to the lengthy, sorrowful list of losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Just when many people feel they need it the most, the comfort of physical closeness is being denied.

AP FACT CHECK

Trump is repeating his misleading suggestion that COVID-19 patients should try using hydroxychloroquine, even though the federal government has not approved the anti-malaria drug as a treatment. Trump’s own health experts say more studies are needed to know whether it’s safe and effective to use.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

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