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White House doctors have started giving rapid coronavirus tests to people who are "in close proximity" to President Trump or Vice President Pence.

"As the physician to the president and White House Operations continue to protect the health and safety of the president and vice president, starting today anyone who is expected to be in close proximity to either of them will be administered a COVID-19 test to evaluate for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers status to limit inadvertent transmission," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

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When Amol Jethwani interviewed for a job on Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign in December, the benefits were unlike anything he had heard of for political campaign field workers.

"They offered an incredible benefits package, which is unheard of for field staff, offering $8,000 a month for a regional role in addition to health care, technology, laptops, cellphones," said Jethwani.

During his Thursday night briefing with the coronavirus task force, President Trump repeated a claim that the United States has done more testing for the contagion on a per capita basis than any other country.

Vice President Mike Pence said the White House may ask hospitals to use some of their federal aid to cover the medical costs of COVID-19 treatment for people who have lost their health insurance in recent weeks, along with their jobs.

Some medical experts have called on the administration to allow newly uninsured people to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare. But at a White House briefing on Thursday, President Trump rejected that idea, saying that "we're doing better than that" with what he called "a cash payment."

Updated at 5:22 a.m. ET Friday

The doors at the Trust Women clinic in Oklahoma City were locked on Tuesday, when the young woman arrived for her appointment. Over the phone, a clinic worker told her the news – the facility had to shut down because of an order from Gov. Kevin Stitt banning most abortions.

Updated at 7:37 p.m. ET

The government has gone to work disbursing the billions of dollars Washington has committed to sustain the economy after the deep shock it has undergone in the pandemic, the White House promised on Thursday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jovita Carranza, head of the Small Business Administration, vowed that some of the first systems for loans or payments would be up and running as soon as Friday.

Wisconsin's April 7 primary will proceed amid the coronavirus pandemic, but with significant changes, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge William Conley said he could not change the date of the election but chastised Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled legislature for not rescheduling the election.

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Updated at 8:28 a.m. ET

People who do not have direct deposit information on file with the Internal Revenue Service may have to wait up to 20 weeks to receive cash payments included in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation, according to a memo drafted by House Democrats.

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President Trump wants to bring back the tax write-off for business meals and entertainment, but critics say reviving what is known as the "three-martini lunch" tax break is not the answer to the problem that restaurants face right now.

Trump is pushing Congress to restore the measure that gave corporations a tax break for the cost of food and entertainment for clients and potential customers. He says it will give restaurants a leg up when they reopen after the social distancing guidelines for the coronavirus are lifted.

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET

The coronavirus has delayed another big event. This time it's the Democratic National Convention.

Amid ongoing questions about when traditional presidential campaigning — and the travel and large crowds it entails — will be able to resume, the Democratic National Committee has delayed its nominating convention until the week of Aug. 17. It had been scheduled for the week of July 13.

The event in Milwaukee is now scheduled for the week before the Republican National Convention, which is set to be held in Charlotte, N.C.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will create a bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis to be chaired by Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.

The committee will focus on transparency, accountability and oversight and will have the power to issue subpoenas, she said on a call with reporters.

"This select committee is about the here and now," Pelosi said. "We have to work together to get through this, but as we do, we don't want to make more mistakes."

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How much farther can Americans go in order to help contain the pandemic?

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President Trump last weekend raised — and then dropped — the idea of placing residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under a quarantine to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus outside of the nation's hardest-hit region.

It has been only a month since President Trump held his last campaign rally. It was March 2 when several thousand people squeezed into a North Carolina arena to cheer on a confident president seeking reelection at a time of peace and prosperity.

Trump touted the record low unemployment rate to rousing applause, repeating the theme of his 2020 campaign.

"Jobs are booming in our country, incomes are soaring, poverty has plummeted, confidence is surging," said the president.

This new world of social distancing has hit the restaurant industry particularly hard — and some of the biggest names in that world are scrambling for solutions.

Updated Thursday at 3 a.m. ET

In describing steps the military is taking to confront the coronavirus pandemic within its ranks, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that some are calling for the U.S. military to cease operations.

"There seems to be this narrative out there that we should just shut down the entire United States military and address the problem that way. That's not feasible," said Esper during the White House's coronavirus task force briefing.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he told President Trump on Wednesday that the United States should grant hazard pay — additional pay for hazardous duty — to frontline federal employees responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Italy is extending its coronavirus lockdown to April 13, as the country's death toll from COVID-19 now tops 13,000 people. The death toll rose by the smallest amount in days, but officials say it's too soon to declare the epidemic over. The number of new cases, which had been declining, was higher than the previous day.

News of the continued lockdown in Italy comes after members of the White House's coronavirus task force referred to Italy as an example of how the coronavirus could play out in the U.S.

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Former FDA head Scott Gottlieb issued this warning to Americans last month, March 8.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET

President Trump says he may consider grounding some or all flights as a coronavirus pandemic mitigation measure but also said on Wednesday he wants to apply the lightest touch possible in managing the disaster.

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