WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will make a prime-time address from the Oval Office on Wednesday about coronavirus amid widening concerns over an outbreak that is now a pandemic.
Trump’s address will come hours after the World Health Organization formally declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic as the global death toll rose above 4,300. Confirmed cases in the U.S. crept past 1,000, according to Johns Hopkins.
“I’ll be making a statement later tonight,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
Trump initially said that his remarks would “probably” take place 8 p.m. EDT. He later tweeted that he would be “addressing the Nation this evening” at 9 p.m. EDT.
Trump declined to say whether he would announce additional travel restrictions or a national emergency. He said there would be economic and health announcements during his statement.
The president last delivered an Oval Office address to the nation on Jan. 8, 2019 amid the government shutdown. He used the address to make his case for additional federal funding for border security, including his long-proposed wall.
The Trump administration is scrambling to respond to the public health and economic fallout from the virus. Trump and Democrats are negotiating over what the president described as a “dramatic” stimulus. As part of that, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the administration is considering delaying the annual April 15 tax day.