WASHINGTON (FOX News) - President Trump said Monday that he will reinstate his coronavirus briefings amid a new surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the country.
“We had very successful briefings, we had a lot of people watching, a record number of people watching,” Trump said after an Oval Office meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Vice President Mike Pence. "In the history of cable television there's never been anything like it."
“Frankly a lot of the country has been doing well, as many people don't say, as you understand. But we have had this big flare-up in Florida, Texas, other places. So I think what we’re going to do is I’ll get involved and we’ll start doing briefings,” Trump continued. He said his first briefing would be Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Trump said that the briefings would be a “great way” to get information out about the status of coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics. He said that White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will continue to deliver regular briefings.
Trump and the White House coronavirus task force delivered daily updates on the spread of the virus in the early weeks of the pandemic. But as the president pivoted to make his case for reopening the economy, he canceled his daily briefings, blaming the “hostile” media.
“What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately. They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort!” he tweeted in late April.
On Sunday, the U.S. faced an additional 877 coronavirus deaths, for a total nearing 140,000, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention count. The disease also infected 67,574 more Americans on Sunday, for a total of 3,698,161.
On Sunday, Florida for the fifth consecutive day logged more than 10,000 coronavirus cases — 12,478 people tested positive for the virus. Another 89 died, bringing the death count to 5,091.
Texas faced 7,300 new cases on Sunday and an additional 93 deaths. Nearly 20 percent of Texas’ total deaths, 3,958, were reported in the last week, according to the Texas Tribune.
The president has long insisted the spike in cases is attributable to the nation’s robust testing system, even saying recently at a rally that he had ordered testing to slow down. The White House then said it was a tongue-in-cheek remark.
"You know, testing is a double-edged sword. We've tested now 25 million people," Trump said at a rally last month. "Here's the bad part. When you test when you do testing, to that extent, you're going to find more people. You're gonna find more cases.
"So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please," Trump continued. "They test and they test. We had tests that people don't know what's going on. ... We got another one over here. The young man's 10 years old. He's got the sniffles. He'll recover in about 15 minutes. That's a case."