Trump to make 'statement' Wednesday on coronavirus measures

President Donald Trump said he will make a primetime address Wednesday on measures to confront the growing health and economic challenges to the United States from the novel coronavirus.

"I'll be making a statement later on tonight as to what I have decided to do," Trump told reporters at the White House, adding that it would be at about 8:00 pm (0000 GMT).

Trump said he would explain his plan for tackling both the health crisis, as the virus rapidly multiplies, and economic assistance. He did not answer reporters' questions about whether he was planning to impose new travel restrictions.

Earlier he had tweeted he was "fully prepared to use the full power of the Federal Government to deal with our current challenge of the CoronaVirus!"

Fallout from the spreading coronavirus, which gives flu-like symptoms and has claimed more than 4,500 lives worldwide, has extended into acute difficulties for parts of the economy and a tanking stock market.

Trump, who has come under criticism for his response to the crisis, made his comments while meeting with US bank leaders on ways of assisting consumers and small businesses.

Trump said "we'll be doing a lot of additional work with ..., many billions of dollars."

He is expected to announce short-term tax breaks or other forms of relief for individuals and also a to help the economy from entering a negative spin that some fear could end in recession.

Trump did not say if he would meet demands from some lawmakers on declaring a national state of emergency, which would free up federal disaster funds.

© 2020 AFP

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