Trump suspends travel from Europe for 30 days as part of response to ‘foreign’ coronavirus
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening about the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic.
Trump’s remarks followed a day of deepening market losses and a declaration by the World Health Organization that coronavirus had reached pandemic levels.
As markets tumbled Wednesday afternoon, Trump met with representatives of the nation’s biggest banks to discuss economic responses to the epidemic. The president signaled that he is open to a wide range of stimulus proposals, but did not unveil any new plans.
The White House has struggled to execute a cohesive plan to stop the spread of the virus. The president has careened back and forth between insisting the coronavirus is no worse than a common flu and demanding that Congress pass drastic financial relief, including a proposed payroll tax holiday.
On Wall Street, the coronavirus-induced sell-off reached new levels as investors grappled with the rapid spread of the virus as well as uncertainty around a fiscal response to curb slower economic growth from the outbreak.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1,464.94 points, or 5.9%, to close at 23,553.22. The 30-stock average closed in a bear market, down more than 20% below the record close set only last month. Wednesday’s close likewise put an end to a market expansion that started in 2009 amid the financial crisis.
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