Trump will announce new measures to contain the coronavirus on Wednesday



US President Donald Trump will give a speech this Wednesday to announce economic and health measures in response to the coronavirus, at a time when his government is considering imposing new travel restrictions, possibly to Europe, to contain the contagion. of the illness.

During an act at the White House, Trump revealed that he will address the nation at 9:00 pm local time (01:00 GMT Thursday), during prime time, to reveal his decisions to deal with the coronavirus, recently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

"We are going through a (bad) streak and we are going to have to do something to get rid of this virus as quickly and safely as possible," Trump told reporters during a meeting with bank representatives focused on the coronavirus.

Asked if he will make announcements related to the economy or health issues, Trump replied: "Both".

On the possibility of a fiscal stimulus to revive the economy, however, the president said that if it is possible "to get rid of the problem (of the coronavirus) soon, everything will resolve itself and there will be no need for a stimulus."

Trump spoke like this shortly before the main indicator on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrials, closed with losses of 5.85% in a volatile new day.

The White House is considering raising its Europe-wide travel alert to "level 3," that is, recommending that Americans avoid any non-essential travel to the continent, something that already applies to Italy and South Korea, according to The Washington Post.

The United States has already imposed restrictions on entry to the country to travelers who have passed through China and Iran, and has not ruled out doing so at some point also with those from Europe, as a senior US official recalled on Wednesday.

"We are continually evaluating how to treat the whole of Europe. We have not yet reached the level of using our legal authority to block travel (from the mainland), but it is something that is being considered," said the Acting Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security. USA, Ken Cuccinelli, in a hearing before Congress.

Cuccinelli recalled that Europe is a "unique" case because the Schengen area allows free movement between countries, and questioned whether "it makes sense" to impose measures focused only on Italy, the European country most affected by the coronavirus.

But he also stressed that Italy and South Korea already subject passengers heading to the United States at the time of boarding, and that these are two allies that Washington "trusts", so for the moment it has preferred not to dedicate resources to examining these travelers also when they arrive in the country.

Meanwhile, according to the daily Politico, the White House is studying declaring the coronavirus a national disaster, something that would allow it to unblock up to $ 40 billion in immediate federal aid for state and local governments to combat the disease, as established in the Stafford Act. from 1988.

However, Trump fears that statement may unleash panic in the country and also weighs a more limited measure, according to which the federal government could cover loans to small businesses and the payrolls of hourly workers, Politico explained.

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