US officials say they appreciate European transparency over coronavirus travel ban

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At Friday’s press briefing by the White House’s coronavirus task force — the first in nearly two months — Vice President Mike Pence painted a rosy picture of a country steadily getting safer and back to normal.

It was a picture at odds with reality.

Leaving out critical information, Pence delivered a more polished version of the upbeat, all-is-well dishonesty that was a hallmark of previous briefings by President Donald Trump, who did not attend the Friday session.

“Despite what you heard, we are in the middle of a public health disaster,” CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said on air after the briefing.

Pence boasted that “we flattened the curve.”

Fact check: The curve for the number of new confirmed cases did decline and plateau in April and May, but has headed sharply upward again in June.

Pence claimed that “all 50 states” are “opening up safely and responsibly.”

Fact check: About 30 states are experiencing increases in the rate of new cases, and states reopened without having met the administration’s recommended safety milestones.

Pence claimed the country is finished with the painful part of the pandemic, saying “we’re in a much better place” than two months ago and the US is no longer “in a time of great losses and great hardship.”

Fact check: He was right that the current number of daily deaths is substantially lower than it was at its peak — but the pandemic is still killing more than 500 Americans a day. The May unemployment rate was 13.3%. In other words, the loss and the hardship continue.

Read the full fact check here:

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