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President Donald Trump is expected to speak about the deadly coronavirus outbreak Wednesday evening, a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to prepare for the possibility of a pandemic.
At least 81,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally, and there have been at least 2,764 deaths. There are currently 60 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States.
Trump on Monday downplayed the spread of the virus, saying in a tweet that “the Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA” despite health officials issuing out more severe warnings about it.
In a tweet announcing the press conference on Wednesday, Trump attacked media for “panicking markets” through their coverage of the virus.
The president’s tweet included a reference to MSNBC, which on Wednesday morning played a clip of CNBC’s interview with White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow from a day earlier. Both news networks are units of Comcast.
Kudlow said in that clip that the U.S. has “contained” the coronavirus. “I won’t say [it’s] airtight, but it’s pretty close to airtight,” he said. His comments quickly garnered criticism and failed to reverse hemorrhaging markets.
Trump’s announcement to hold the press conference also comes hours after the Democratic candidates for president slammed his administration’s response to the coronavirus on the debate stage as inadequate.
Candidate Mike Bloomberg on Wednesday launched an ad criticizing the president for his handling of the situation, including his administration’s “reckless cuts” to CDC funding.
CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.
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