President Donald Trump will address the nation from the Oval Office Wednesday at 9 p.m., speaking about the latest coronavirus updates.
In addition, the official U.S. coronavirus task force had been scheduled to hold a press briefing Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. However, it appears that this has been cancelled in favor of the Oval Office address. The event has been removed from the White House’s YouTube page as well as from whitehouse.gov.
While the task force is headed by Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump has appeared at many of the press briefings. Newsweek reached out to the White House to ask if Trump would speak tonight, but did not hear back by publication time.
Trump is also scheduled to speak later from the Oval Office at 9 p.m. While the exact content of the address is unknown, Trump told reporters that he would speak on the coronavirus’ effect on the economy as well as public health. It is likely that statement will also appear on the White House’s YouTube page, and be broadcast on the major networks and on cable news channels.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared that the coronavirus a pandemic. The virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, has spread across 36 states in the U.S., as well as Washington D.C., with at least 170 cases nationwide. In the U.S. alone, 31 people have died, including the first deaths in New Jersey and South Dakota.
Worldwide, over 121,000 people have contracted the virus, however over 66,000 of those have fully recovered.
World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.
- If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.
- Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
- Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
- Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of mask.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.