After insisting on Sunday that millions of test kits would soon become available and that up to 2,000 public and private labs would be ready to run them would be online by the end of the week, the White House coronavirus task force will deliver another live update at 3:15pm ET, following the conclusion of its latest team meeting (the presser was initially slated to be held at 10:30, but was delayed to 3:30, and now brought forward to 3:15).
For some context around today’s comments, here are the president’s comments over the last few weeks…
1/22 “. . . we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
1/24 “It will all work out well.”
1/28 “Johnson & Johnson to create coronavirus vaccine.”
1/30 “We have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully.”
2/10 “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away,”
2/19 “I think the numbers are going to get progressively better as we go along.”
2/26 “the Democrat policy of open borders” had brought the virus into the country.
2/27 “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”
2/29 vaccine would be available “very quickly” and “very rapidly”
3/2 “It’s very mild”
3/6 “Anybody that wants a test can get a test.”
3/6 “People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability.”
3/7 “I’m not concerned at all.”
3/10 “It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”
And, yesterday, President Trump said that the government had the outbreak “under control”, provoking a backlash in the press, who once again hammered him for allegedly mischaracterizing the state of the government response (most infectious disease experts insist that the outbreak in the US is very much not ‘contained’).
Watch Live below:
After the Fed’s big bazooka blast last night seemed to only provoke a panic in markets, let’s see if Trump, Pence & Co. can sooth the market, as we suspect millions of parents and students who are staying home might watch if for no other reason than sheer boredom.