Roberta Rampton

Roberta Rampton is NPR's White House editor. She joined the Washington Desk in October 2019 after spending more than six years as a White House correspondent for Reuters. Rampton traveled around America and to more than 20 countries covering President Trump, President Obama and their vice presidents, reporting on a broad range of political, economic and foreign policy topics. Earlier in her career, Rampton covered energy and agriculture policy.

Updated at 4:59 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization to the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized patients with the coronavirus, President Trump on Friday told reporters at the White House.

Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day said remdesivir maker Gilead Sciences is donating 1.5 million vials of the drug and will work with the federal government to distribute it to patients in need.

Updated at 3:11 p.m. ET

Kayleigh McEnany did something on Friday that her predecessor at the White House never once did: She briefed reporters from behind the lectern in the cramped confines of the James S. Brady briefing room.

McEnany, President Trump's fourth press secretary, took over the job less than a month ago from Stephanie Grisham, who had chosen to work behind the scenes, saying that Trump was his own best spokesman.

The Trump administration is set to recommend that people who live in areas with high transmission of the coronavirus wear masks in public to avoid further spread of the virus, a White House official tells NPR's Tamara Keith.

Mayors in New York and Los Angeles have already urged people in their cities to use face coverings in public.

President Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday that he was waiting for guidance from public health experts on whether people should wear masks in public.

Two weeks ago, President Trump entered the White House briefing room and announced an aggressive plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Stay home for 15 days, he told Americans. Avoid groups of more than 10 people. "If everyone makes this change, or these critical changes, and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus," he said.

Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

The White House disclosed its first case of the coronavirus on Friday night: a person who works in the office of Vice President Pence.

"Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual," Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller said in a statement. She declined to give further details.

"Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines," Miller said.

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