Coronavirus government response updates: Trump orders flags lowered to honor COVID-19 dead

Posted on: May 22nd, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Official White House Photo by Joyce N. BoghosianBy ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — Here are Friday’s most significant developments in Washington so far:

— With the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 close to 95,000 as the Memorial Day weekend begins, President Donald Trump has ordered all flags on government buildings lowered to half-staff through Sunday “for every life lost to the coronavirus pandemic.”

His order came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to him Thursday requesting flags be lowered when the death toll reaches reaches 100,000, as experts estimate will happen by the end of the month — what the Democratic congressional leaders called a “sad day of reckoning.”

— A new study of 96,000 patients hospitalized on six continents published Friday in the medical journal the Lancet finds that people treated with hyroxychloroquine — the unproven drug treatment Trump has touted as a “game changer” — had a higher risk of dying from an irregular heart rhythm than those who didn’t take the anti-malaria medication, as reported in The Washington Post.

The president has said that he would finish his last dose of a two-week course of what he calls “the hyrdroxy” today.

— Trump also says he’s pushing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to put out guidance as early as today on how churches can reopen quickly and safely, saying it’s critical to the nation’s “psyche” and accusing Democratic governors of not treating churches with ‘respect.”

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