Debriefing the Briefing-logo

Debriefing the Briefing

CBS News

The Coronavirus Task Force brief. Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett and a team of CBS News correspondents and experts break down the daily White House briefing.

The Coronavirus Task Force brief. Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett and a team of CBS News correspondents and experts break down the daily White House briefing.


United States


CBS News


The Coronavirus Task Force brief. Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett and a team of CBS News correspondents and experts break down the daily White House briefing.




June 2: Dr. Lakesha Butler

On Tuesday, President Trump did not give public remarks, but he did visit a Washington shrine honoring Pope John Paul II where he was met with more protestors in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The nationwide protests are principally about police tactics, but they are also about other issues of discrimination like the disproportionate exposure to COVID-19 among people of color whose jobs require them to work during lockdown orders. Major’s guest tonight is Dr. Lakesha...


June 1: Dr. Steven Treon from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

After a weekend full of protests that at times turned violent, President Trump on Monday encouraged governors in a phone call to “dominate” protestors with full force. Mr. Trump in remarks in the Rose Garden ahead of D.C.’s curfew called himself an ally of peaceful protestors. On the virus front, federal statistics released Monday show that through late May more than 60,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 26,000 deaths occurred in nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements. 20...


May 30: Debriefing the Campaign with Ed O'Keefe

In the latest episode of our special weekend series 'Debriefing the Campaign,' Major is joined by CBS News Political Correspondent Ed O'Keefe to discuss the reaction to the George Floyd case in Minneapolis and the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths the country passed this week. Election Day is 159 days away. Recap the week's top political news with Major and Ed.


May 29: Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD)

President Trump on Friday officially announced the withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organization because of its handling of the coronavirus. Mr. Trump threatened to halt the funding earlier in May if the organization didn’t make major reforms within 30 days, but Friday’s announcement came just 11 days after the warning. Also on Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he hopes to begin reopening New York, once the epicenter of the virus, in the second week of...


May 28: Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK)

New numbers released by the US Labor Department on Thursday showed an increase of 2.1 million unemployment claims in the last week. Over 40 million people — about 1 in 4 working Americans — have now filed for unemployment since March. President Trump received a briefing from the heads of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, who told the President that the impending hurricane season will likely be more complicated by COVID-19 concerns. But officials insisted they are "ready" to deal...


May 27: New York Times National Security Correspondent David Sanger

On Wednesday evening, the United States reached the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths. Earlier in the day, President Trump met with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo asked for more federal funds to stimulate the economy with infrastructure investments. Major’s guest tonight is David E. Sanger, national security correspondent and senior writer at The New York Times.


May 26: Purdue University President Mitch Daniels

There was no task force briefing Tuesday, but President Trump touched on a number of topics in response to questions from reporters at an event about lowering insulin costs for Medicare recipients. He repeated his optimism that a vaccine could come by the end of the year, and he said North Carolina’s Governor has within a week to decide if the state is able to host the Republican National Convention in August. Major’s guest tonight is Mitch Daniels, the President of Purdue University.


May 25: American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Executive VP and CEO Lucinda Maine

President Trump spent Memorial Day at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, MD honoring the military as well as those who have lost their lives as a result of the coronavirus. Earlier in the day, he laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown solider. Over the weekend, thousands of Americans packed beaches from Maryland to Malibu. Public health officials have urged Americans to take precautions. On Sunday, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said, "if you can't social distance...


May 23: Debriefing the Campaign with Ed O'Keefe

In the latest episode of our special weekend series 'Debriefing the Campaign,' Major is joined by CBS News Political Correspondent Ed O'Keefe to discuss Joe Biden’s Friday comments about African-American voters and the ongoing fight over vote-by-mail considerations during coronavirus. Election Day is 164 days away. Recap the week's top political news with Major and Ed.


May 22: Dr. Richard Besser

President Trump took to the briefing room podium quickly Friday to announce he considers churches and places of worship “essential” and urged governors to allow them to open. Afterwards, the Centers for Disease Control released guidelines on how places of worship can reopen. During the short briefing following the announcement, Dr. Deborah Birx encouraged people to go out and enjoy Memorial Day Weekend as long as they wear masks and maintain social distancing. Major’s guest tonight is Dr....


May 21: DARPA's Dr. Brad Ringeisen

President Trump traveled to Ypsilanti, Michigan on Thursday to tour a Ford Motors facility making ventilators. Although it is Michigan state law, and Ford's policy, for everyone to wear a mask, the President chose not to wear one for the majority of his visit. The President briefly wore a mask during a private viewing of vintage cars. Today the United States surpassed the grim milestone of 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, and nearly 95,000 deaths. Health experts say a second wave is...


May 20: Pediatric Infectious Disease Doctor Adam J. Ratner

There was no task force briefing on Wednesday. President Trump met with the governors of Arkansas and Kansas. In the meeting, Mr. Trump did not address the more detailed documents the Centers for Disease Control quietly released as guidance for re-opening businesses and schools. The World Health Organization announced the largest one-day increase since the crisis began with 106,000 new cases worldwide. Just four countries accounted for nearly two-thirds of the new cases. Major’s guest...


May 19: Dr. Leana Wen

President Trump convened a cabinet meeting Tuesday where he signed an executive order cutting regulations in order to stimulate the economy and defended his use of hydroxycholoroquine. None of the members of the Cabinet wore masks and while not shoulder to shoulder were not seated six feet apart. Mr. Trump also went to Capitol Hill to meet privately with Senate Republicans. Senators afterwards said the meeting did not have a central message, but the coronavirus response came up. Also on the...


May 18: CBS News White House Correspondent Ben Tracy

President Trump made news Monday during a meeting with restaurant executives when he told reporters he has been taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventative coronavirus treatment for a couple of weeks. The FDA has cautioned against widespread use of the drug which has not been proven to fight the virus. The president also commented on Sunday’s exclusive “60 Minutes” interview with the whistleblower Rick Bright who was removed from a vaccine management position. Bright...


May 16: Debriefing the Campaign with Ed O'Keefe

In the latest episode of our special weekend series 'Debriefing the Campaign,' Major is joined by CBS News Political Correspondent Ed O'Keefe to discuss new CBS News polling that found there is still real concern over when to reopen, and that less voters approve of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus than did in March. Plus: the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned a stay-at-home order, and the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether Mr. Trump has to release his tax...


May 15: Yale University's Zack Cooper

There was no task force briefing Friday. At an afternoon event in the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump said the administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” to develop a COVID-19 vaccine could deliver one by the end of the year even though he thinks the virus could go away without one. Mr. Trump at the event also called the Abbott Test, which is used daily at the White House, “a great test.” The Federal Drug Administration issued an advisory Thursday night warning that the test can deliver...


May 14: American Medical Association President Patrice Harris, M.D.

Whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright told Congress in his testimony Thursday that the United States still lacks a plan for the coronavirus, including enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for the health care workers on the frontlines. President Trump called Bright a “disgruntled” person on his way to Allentown, Pennsylvania where he announced plans to grow the strategic national stockpile which includes critical PPE. Also on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released...


May 13: Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)

A day after Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease doctor, told congress schools should exercise caution before re-opening this fall, President Trump said those comments were unacceptable. "To me it's not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools," the president said, adding that Fauci wants to play all sides of the equation. "We're opening our country. People want it open. The schools are going to be open." Mr. Trump met today with the governors of Colorado...


May 12: Senator Mike Braun (R-IN)

There was no coronavirus task force briefing Tuesday, but four top public health officials - Drs. Anthony Fauci, Robert Redfield, Steve Hahn and Brett Giroir - testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. All four participated via remote video feeds, as did several committee members. Fauci said by late fall or early winter scientists should know whether trials of several covid-19 vaccines candidates are successful. But, he conceded, there will not be a...


May 11: Stanford University's Michael Auslin

President Trump held a briefing for the first time in two weeks. According to the president, if people want to get tested for covid-19, they can get tested. But Admiral Brett Grioir said not everyone needs to get tested. There are only enough tests for those who meet one of three criterion – people exhibiting symptoms, those who have been in contact with believed to have the virus (contact tracing), and for asymptomatic surveillance. He estimated tests for those patients would number...