Update at 2:26: On being pushed by multiple reporters about whether he'll get tested
Another reporter brought up that Trump was pictured with Brazilian President Bolsonaro's aide who later tested positive for Coronavirus, and thus was exposed to the virus. Trump reiterated that again Bolsonaro hadn't tested positive for the Coronavirus.
Another reporter asked if he was doing what he himself was advising against after being pictured with someone who had the virus, who should American citizens listen to. Trump said, "I think they have to listen to their doctors and they shouldn’t be jumping to get the test unless they have it.
The reporter continued to ask Trump about whether he'd get tested as doctors have said one person can have the virus but still be asymptomatic. Trump answered, "I didn't say I wasn't going to be tested." He said that they were working on getting him tested for a possible Coronavirus infection soon.
Update at 2:05 On being quizzed on how long will the Emergency will last
Asked how long the National Emergency would go on for, Trump did not have a specific answer.
He said, "I hope not long [but] it gives us the power it needs to get rid of the virus."
Update at 1:55: On how some Chinese officials saying the US is the source of the Coronavirus
Trump was asked about how some Chinese officials insinuated that the US was responsible for the Coronavirus, and whether it affected Trade talks.
Trump said that China would be buying $250 billion worth of goods and $50 billion worth of products from US Farmers. He also said that the rumours hadn't affected trade talks. He also said that while he had read an article, it was not representative of what China thinks, especially after his conversations with President Xi.
Update at 1:43: On the European travel ban
Trump was asked about the travel ban on the EU and the exemption on the United Kingdom.
Trump said that the exception was made depending on the recommendations of experts. However, depending on the number of the cases, they would consider adding the UK to the list of countries on the current travel ban. He also said depending on the situation, they may add even more countries and take others off.
Update at 1:40: Trump on the lag in testing.
When asked about the lag in testing for the Coronavirus, Trump refused to take responsibility for the matter. He said that the current rules the CDC follows weren't designed for a pandemic of this scale, and they were initially working with those restrictions. However, they have 'redesigned' it quickly so that they can shorten the lag, and ensure mass testing.
Update at 1:36: On getting tested for COVID-19 after Bolsonaro's aide tested positive
Trump was asked if he would take any precautionary measure or get tested for Coronavirus himself after Bolsonaro's aide, who Trump and Pence had met earlier at his Mar-a-Lago resort later tested positive for the Coronavirus.
Trump said he would not. "We have no symptoms whatsoever. And we had a great meeting with the President of Brazil, Bolsonaro. As you know he tested negative this morning, and we got word of it too. Because we did have dinner with him, and we were sitting next to each to other for a long period of time," he said.
Update at 1:34: 'We will release a paper on further measures': Trump
US President Trump was asked if there were other specific measures that his administration plans to undertake in response to the Coronavirus. He said that there indeed were, and the White House would release a paper later on in the day which detailed additional measure. He also refused to give any further details on the matter.
Update at 1:25: Vice President briefs the media
The US Vice President, Mike Pence, said Coronavirus was now present in 46 of the 50 states of the union.
Pence also reiterated the various measure Trump has taken, including the various travel bans. He also said the Coronavirus website should be live soon, and more information would be available on Sunday.
The Trump Administration is working with states across the country to put the health and safety of Americans FIRST. pic.twitter.com/rynlRGmzHI— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 13, 2020
Update at 1:21: Trump announces Emergency Executive Actions.
Trump has waived interest of all student loans held by Federal Government Agencies. He has also asked the Secretary of Energy to purchase crude oil to shore up energy reserves.
Update at 1:17: Trump hands over to Dr Birx and various CEOs to brief on the situation.
Dr Birx took a few minutes to explain a new Coronavirus website for texting. Various CEOs of Target, Walmart, other supermarket chains and pharmaceuticals also explained how they would aid in dealing with the crisis.
Update at 1:08: Trump thanks Google
He said Google has 1700 engineers working on the project to develop whether tests are necessary and convenient locations for people to go and test themselves.
Update at 1:06: Trump claims as many as half a million Coronavirus tests will be made available next week, while millions more will follow. The US has brought in CEOs of commercial labs and begin working for tests. 1.4 million tests next month and 5 million a month
Update at 1:02: Trump declares National Emergency
Trump declares National Emergency.
He also announced a monetary package of $50 Billion to deal with the Coronavirus crisis.
He has asked Health Centres and Hospitals to activate Emergency plans. He also added that they are working closely with multiple states including New York.
He also added that the National Emergency granted the Secretary of Health and Human Services sweeping new powers. These included the ability to waive the restrictions on telehealth and federal license restrictions. It will also allow to Doctors from other states to provide services in different states.
Today's emergency orders will allow the @HHSgov Secretary to waive applicable rules and regulations to give doctors, hospitals, and healthcare providers maximum flexibility to respond to the virus and care for patients. pic.twitter.com/JYJpjE79Hj— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 13, 2020
Update at 01:02: Trump says US is making a vigilant effort to deal with Coronavirus
Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, various doctors, and CEOs, Trump began his address saying that the US was doing everything possible to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.
Update at 00:07: US President Donald Trump's briefing is to begin in 20 minutes.
Amid the widespread of pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19), US President Donald Trump, on Friday, plans to declare a national emergency in the country under the Stafford Act. Once Trump declares the epidemic an emergency, additional federal funds would reportedly be freed and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will reportedly swing into action. Moreover, Broadway and Disney World have been shut down and major sports leagues like NBA, MLS along with mass gatherings, schools and rallies have already been declared shut.
I will be having a news conference today at 3:00 P.M., The White House. Topic: CoronaVirus!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2020
As of date, the US has seen 1215 cases of positive cases and 36 total deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Meanwhile, inspite of one of Bolsanaro's aides - who had met with Trump at his Florida resort 'Mar-A-Lago' event had been tested positive, Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence have not yet been tested for the disease. The White House stated that there was 'no need' to do so and that neither Trump nor Pence, would follow any self-quarantine protocols, as they showed no symptoms for COVID-19.
Trump - a self-proclaimed germaphobe, himself has downplayed Coronavirus situation in the US claiming that “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu”. He added, “It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” While he has since then changed his stance taking a more protectionist view, closing borders, Trump has publically many times blamed China and the Democrats 'for spreading Corona hoax'.
First detected in Wuhan in December 2019, COVID-19- the novel coronavirus has affected nearly 118 countries in the world. Presently, there are over 1,32,00 confirmed cases of COVID-19 which has led to the death of 5000 people. As there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to deal to treat COVID-19, countries have been grappling with all possible mechanisms to contain its scope. So far, China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran have witnessed the most number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with the WHO declaring Europe as the 'epicenter'.