Update, 3/14/20, 7:30 pm ET: Donald Trump has tested negative for coronavirus, according to a letter from the White House physician.
President Donald Trump just held another coronavirus press conference. The takeaways:
- Trump says he took the coronavirus test last night and is awaiting the results. “I decided I should, based on the press conference yesterday,” he said. (This claim stands in contrast with a public letter from the White House physician late last night, which said that Trump didn’t need to be tested following his interaction with a member of a Brazilian delegation who tested positive.)
- Vice President Pence, meanwhile, says he has not been tested, but “Mrs. Pence and I would be more than happy to be tested.” Temperature checks are now being performed on those in close contact with Trump and Pence, according to White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere.
- Assuming it gets through the Senate, Trump will sign the Families First Act, the bipartisan economic relief package that will include paid sick leave, unemployment benefits, free coronavirus testing, and money for food stamps.
- The White House is considering expanding domestic travel restrictions to and from certain regions of the country, and will expand the European travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland starting Monday.
- Trump reported that “the masks are being made by the millions—the millions and millions. We have plenty now, but we’re preparing for the worst-case scenario.” (We do not, in fact, have plenty now; some hospitals are close to running out.)
- The president gloated that the stock market bounced back during his 45-minute press conference yesterday, during which businesses pledged their support to help with testing. “That was a record, an all-time record,” he said. “I think we should do one every day, perhaps. How about five times per day?” (In fact, the S&P had its best day since 2008.)
- Pence faced questions about the federal government’s supposed partnership with Google. After Trump claimed on Friday that Google was creating a website to determine whether individuals need testing—one that will “be done very quickly,” Trump said— Google’s parent company, Alphabet, clarified that it will launch a small-scale website next week focused specifically on triaging patients in the Bay Area. It will likely serve a wider population “over time,” reported CNN. Pence confirmed Saturday that the focus on Monday was indeed the Bay Area, “with the goal of expanding to other locations.”