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President Donald Trump said Sunday night that he was first briefed about coronavirus on January 23 and indicated the US intelligence agencies would be issuing a statement in the coming days.
On January 23rd, I was told that there could be a virus coming in but it was of no real import. In other words it wasn’t, ‘Oh we gotta do something, we gotta do something.’ It was a brief conversation and it was only on January 23rd," Trump said on Fox News.
While Trump claims he was told that "there could be a virus coming in," that January 23 briefing came three days after the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the United States.
The President was also briefed by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar about the threat of the coronavirus during a January 18 phone call, according to multiple reports.
Trump also said that at the time the US intelligence community was not "competently run."
"And the intelligence agencies, which have now -- now, now -- because before they weren't, which are now very competently run with some great people ... the intelligence agencies will tell you that tomorrow," Trump said.
CNN and other news outlets have reported that the President's daily intelligence briefing included information about the coronavirus outbreak in China and its potential to spread to the United States as early as January 3. It is not clear whether Trump -- who infrequently reads the President's Daily Brief compiled by intelligence officials -- read the information at the time or whether officials briefing the President in person raised the issue.
A total of 373 employees and contract workers at Triumph Foods, a pork processing plant in Buchanan County, Missouri, have tested positive for coronavirus despite showing no related symptoms, according to a press release from the Department of Health and Senior Services.
“We continue to work this weekend contacting these asymptomatic patients and have initiated the process of contact tracing with those determined to be close contacts of our positive cases,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS.
The department encouraged anyone experiencing symptoms to reach out to their health care provider, the release said.
The latest numbers come after the the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced Thursday more than 120 employees tested positive for Covid-19.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told reporters Sunday that the state's Covid-19 cases were "at the worst" plateauing.
He commended Kentucky residents for sticking to the state's guidelines.
"You are saving thousands of lives," he said. "I'm very proud to be your governor."
Saying that he took yesterday off in order to recharge, Beshear gave both Saturday and Sunday numbers for cases and deaths.
Saturday's report showed an additional 173 cases, with 5 deaths. Sunday's report showed 80 new cases and zero deaths, but Beshear himself cast doubt on those numbers, saying there had been a lull in testing.
"This is why we average," he said. "No day right now just has 80."
He added that a report will come out tomorrow on cases in Green River State Prison.
"We believe they are going to be tough numbers to see," he said.
Beshear also responded to yesterday's protest over pandemic measures by calling it "reckless."
"All I asked that folks did if they disagree is to do it safely," he said. "What I have heard is that speakers, and leaders, and even state representatives or state senators asked people to take off their masks, told people that social distancing is optional, and one even said they're not going to take the vaccine when it's created. That's just reckless."
Beshear said more test kits will be arriving in the state in the coming week, and that over the course of the next few days he will be focusing on preparing businesses for phased reopenings.
France will not impose a 14-day quarantine on travellers from the Schengen Area of the European Union and the UK, Elysée Palace confirmed to CNN on Sunday.
This is regardless of the nationality of those traveling to France.
Sunday’s statement appears to be a direct contradiction of Health Minister Olivier Véran’s statement a day earlier of a proposed measure to quarantine all people entering France from “abroad, Corsica and other overseas territory.”
The French government will move to extend a state of emergency over coronavirus for around two months in a set of measures to be proposed to Parliament on Tuesday.
The Schengen Area is a zone of 26 European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move between them freely, including countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland.
Elysée Palace would not comment on whether travellers from the US would be subject to quarantine measures if entering France.
The President of Peru, Martín Vizcarra, approved a supreme decree to reactivate the country’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement released by the Office of the Presidency Saturday.
Speaking at the Council of Ministers, Vizcarra said “we must begin economic activities and seek balance to generate jobs,” according to the statement,
Vizcarra explained the decree has been analyzed by health experts and is based on studies. It will be carried out gradually and has four phases. Each phase will last approximately one month starting in May and ending in August.
The Peruvian president also announced that because of coronavirus concerns, he has signed an early release pardon to non-violent prisoners that are pregnant and mothers who are in prison with their children.
The federal government will begin shipping "tens of thousands" of courses of remdesivir early this week and will decide where the medicine goes, according to Daniel O'Day, chairman and CEO of Gilead Sciences, the maker of the investigational drug.
In early results from a trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, remdesivir was found to shorten the duration of illness in patients with severe Covid-19, but it had no statistically significant effect on whether patients died.
We intend to get [remdesivir] to patients in the early part of this next week, beginning to work with the government, which will determine which cities are most vulnerable and where the patients are that need this medicine," O'Day said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
CNN has reached out to the US Department of Health and Human Services for comment on how the drug will be distributed.
Brazil surpassed 100,000 cases of Covid-19, according to the latest figures released by the Health Ministry Sunday.
The number of confirmed cases increased by 4,588 in a 24-hour period, bringing the total to 101,147.
There are at least 1,154,340 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 67,447 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States.
The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and US territories, as well as repatriated cases and those in the US military, veterans' hospitals and federal prisons.
CNN has an interactive map tracking coronavirus cases across the country.