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Trump talks national security, coronavirus at briefing

Updated April 1, 2020 - 5:29 pm

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump mixed up the daily coronavirus briefing by starting off Wednesday’s evening session flanked by his attorney general, national security adviser and defense secretary, as well as military brass, in a muscular show of national security.

Trump announced “enhanced counter narcotics operations in the Western hemisphere to protect the American people from the deadly scourge of illegal narcotics.”

Trump also called out Iran, in a follow up to a tweet that said he had been informed “Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq.” Trump warned Tehran, “Don’t do it.”

Turning to the coronavirus, Trump told reporters that he was not likely to ban all commercial travel, but was considering banning flights from one hot spot to another – such as from New York and Miami.

Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence went to a Walmart distribution center to assure the American public that, while state and federal authorities have advised closing non-essential businesses, the food supply chain is running smoothly. He thanked workers for “keeping food on the table for the American people.”

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, farmers, grocers, food suppliers and truckers are considered essential workers.

Pence flew by Marine Two with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to Gordonsville, Virginia, where he met delivery truck driver Earnest Allen, and pledged to return for a handshake in the future.

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

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