Coronavirus task force

Trump Says Coronavirus Is ‘Going Away.' His Own Task Force Disagrees.

New internal data obtained by NBC News show the White House is closely tracking big virus spikes around the nation

President Donald Trump, followed by Vice President Mike Pence, speaks at the daily coronavirus briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 9, 2020 in Washington. Also pictured are National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, and White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump keeps spinning a tale about COVID-19 that is at odds with his own administration's disease experts and data compiled by his own coronavirus task force, which was obtained exclusively by NBC News.

In Trump's telling, the deadly pandemic isn't really a serious threat to the public and rising infection rates are simply due to increased testing. "It's going away," he said Tuesday at an event in Phoenix.

But on the same day, the coronavirus task force produced an internal document showing that Phoenix had the highest number of new cases among the 10 metropolitan regions where the week-over-week change in infection rates spiked the most. Arizona's biggest city had recorded 13,169 new cases over the previous seven days, accounting for a jump of 149.2 percent over the previous week's infection rate.

The task force records also show that big surges have been recorded in Texas — around San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi, Lubbock and College Station — and in other population centers across the U.S., from counties in the Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa regions of Florida to Atlanta's Fulton County, Joplin, Missouri's Newton County, and California's San Joaquin Valley.

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