President Trump to deliver prime-time statement on coronavirus

The address comes amid growing public anxiety over the economy and public health

President Donald Trump will deliver a prime-time statement to the nation Wednesday night about the novel coronavirus and his administration’s plans to address the pandemic going forward.

“I’ll be making a statement later tonight as to what I’ve decided to do and what our country will be doing,” Trump said earlier in the day, during a meeting with the nation’s top bank executives about industry preparedness.

The president will speak from the Oval Office at 9 p.m. and said he will address both the health-related and economic aspects of the administration’s response the growing health crisis.

The plans for a formal presidential address come as the nationwide count of people infected with the virus climbs each day and top health officials warn that the outbreak is going to get worse before it gets better.

The president has been weighing a variety of economic stimulus measures to help blunt the economic side effects of the virus, pitching Congress on the idea of a payroll tax holiday through the end of the year, paid sick leave for impacted workers and support for the hardest-hit industries, such as airlines and cruise lines.

The president has repeatedly sought to quell growing public anxiety about the virus with assurances that the administration has the virus under control, but his optimistic tone that has at times contradicted the reality projected by top health officials — including comparisons of the virus to the common flu — has also raised questions about the president’s handle on the situation.

“We will have to do something with respect to getting rid of this virus as quickly as possible and as safely as possible. Our number one priority is the health of the people of our country,” the president said earlier on Wednesday.

This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.