Update (1845): In his long-awaited press conference, President Trump defended the White House’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, insisted that he would accept whatever amount of crisis-response funds approved by Congress and appointed VP Mike to be his “Coronavirus Czar”.
Stock futures moved lower during the presser:
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A day after he sought to minimize fears of the virus spreading widely across the U.S., President Trump is holding a White House press conference (pushed back from 1800ET to 1830ET) alongside experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Trump and members of his administration have been sending mixed messages about the virus (WH’s Kudlow “contained”, CDC’s Messonnier “it’s coming!”) and we assume tonight will be to ‘clarify’ the message and attempt to calm markets (after another fall today.
Watch Live at 1830ET:
As AP reports, on Capitol Hill, senior lawmakers called for a bipartisan spending package that would give federal, state and local officials more resources. Congress in recent years took a similar approach with the opioid epidemic, pumping out federal dollars for treatment and prevention.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York unveiled an $8.5 billion coronavirus proposal. Schumer has been harshly critical of Trump’s response to the outbreak, and his request – announced before the Democratic-controlled House Appropriations Committee has weighed in – rankled some Democrats hoping for quick, bipartisan action to address the crisis.
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As we detailed earlier, having already urged the American public to ‘buy the dip’, just before another 900 point drop in the Dow, President Trump has decided to take matters into his own hands – the only way he knows how.
In a double tweet this morning, Trump announced he will hold a news conference at 6pmET to put the American people straight.,
“I will be having a News Conference at the White House, on this subject, today at 6:00 P.M. CDC representatives, and others, will be there. Thank you!”
The reason for his sudden need to address the public (aside from the 2000 points drop in the Dow) is that
“Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. “
And responding to Democrats new narrative that The Trump administration is not doing enough, he lashed out:
“Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!”
One thing does make our eyebrows raise a little is the CDC official that raised what is somewhat unprecedented alerts yesterday has an interesting family linkage.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned ominously that:
“As more and more countries experience community spread, successful containment at our borders becomes harder and harder. It’s not a question of if this will happen but when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses.
…Disruption to everyday life might be severe…
…We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.”
In addition, Messonnier warned that it may soon become necessary for schools and businesses to greatly restrict person to person contact…
The CDC outlined what schools and businesses will likely need to do if the COVID-19 virus becomes an epidemic outbreak in the U.S. Schools should consider dividing students into smaller groups or close and use “internet-based tele-schooling,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call.
“For adults, businesses can replace in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options,” Messonnier said.
Can you ever recall a top CDC official ever making statements this ominous?
Well, it turns out Dr. Nancy Messonnier is the sister of the former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Could she be part of the resistance?
Remember, it was reported that CDC employees cried when Trump was elected.
Wed, 02/26/2020 – 18:59
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Author: Tyler Durden