CDC Postpones Press Briefing, Then Cancels It

March 14, 2020 Updated: March 14, 2020
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) postponed a press briefing originally scheduled for Friday before abruptly canceling it on Saturday.

“At this time, this conference has been canceled. Thank you, and have a good weekend,” an operator told reporters on the telebriefing on Saturday after 10 minutes passed from the scheduled 1 p.m. start time.

“Please note that today’s scheduled COVID-19 media telebriefing has been canceled,” the agency said in an email.

The briefing was originally scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. but was postponed.

No reasons were given for the postponement or cancelation.

A similar situation unfolded earlier this month.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the agency’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, was expected to give reporters fresh details about the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

Messonnier has given updates and answered questions on telebriefings since January but the number of calls have lessened since the White House Coronavirus Task Force began giving briefings.

The task force was giving a briefing in Washington at the same time the call was scheduled.

No one from the CDC was at the briefing nor was Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, though other top public health officials, including U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams and Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Azar was at the task force meeting and went back to work right after, Vice President Mike Pence, head of the task force, told reporters.

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