U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he will hold a news conference with health officials at 6 p.m. ET to discuss and answer questions about the coronavirus that continues to spread globally, irking the stock market in the process.
In a series of tweets, Trump said the U.S. is “in great shape" in its handling of the virus, and accused media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC of "doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus (sic) look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible."
The president initially misspelled the name of the virus.
The president's tweets appeared to underscore his focus on how the deadly disease is affecting financial markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined nearly 2,000 points over the last two days.
Trump is facing mounting pressure over his handling of the coronavirus from lawmakers and health officials, who warned on Tuesday that the country should prepare for an outbreak of cases in the U.S.
There are currently 57 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, named Covid-19, in the U.S., including 40 Americans who were repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was docked and quarantined for more than two weeks in Japan, according to the World Health Organization.
Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized the Trump administration’s preparation efforts and response to the potential spread of the coronavirus within the United States. The Trump administration has asked for $2.5 billion in additional funding to combat the disease, a figure some lawmakers view as inadequate.
Meantime, Trump and other administration officials have downplayed the severity of the disease within U.S. borders, with the president stating the virus "is going to go away," and top economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday asserting that the virus was “contained.”
“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,” Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on Tuesday. “Disruption to everyday life might be severe.”