Trump to deliver Oval Office statement on coronavirus

President Trump will deliver a statement on Wednesday night regarding the coronavirus as the administration mulls how to address the fast-growing health crisis.

Trump tweeted that he would deliver remarks from the Oval Office at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

The president told reporters during a meeting with banking executives that the statement would involve both health and economic measures being taken to combat the virus, though he would not specify what they would be. 

Trump tweeted several times Tuesday afternoon about the coronavirus, saying he is “fully prepared to use the full power of the Federal Government to deal with” the disease.

White House aides have been negotiating with lawmakers on legislation to address the economic fallout of the spreading virus, which has rattled markets and sparked concerns among workers who may not have paid sick leave or the ability to work remotely.

The administration is also said to be considering a national emergency declaration to free up additional resources to fight the coronavirus, which the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday declared a global pandemic. Additional travel restrictions are also said to be on the table.

There are more than 1,000 confirmed cases in the U.S.

Aides had been considering whether Trump should deliver an address to the nation about the virus, according to an adviser familiar with the discussions.

“I think Trump should give a national television address tonight or tomorrow night and be the commander in chief and really lay out a set of prescriptions,” the person said.

The administration has for weeks attempted to project a sense of control as the coronavirus spread across the country. But health officials have in recent days sounded the alarm about the severity of the virus, warning that things will get worse before they get better.

Trump has repeatedly urged Americans to remain calm, while at times offering contradictory information about the virus. He told reporters two weeks ago that he expected the 15 confirmed cases in the U.S. would soon decrease to near zero.

Trump previously delivered an Oval Office address on illegal immigration and the then-ongoing government shutdown in early 2019.

Updated: 4:51 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Government shutdown
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