President Trump has faced heavy criticism for his administration’s coronavirus response—or lack … [+]
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(Updated: 9:41 a.m. EST, March 6, 2020)
Topline: President Trump pulled out of a scheduled Friday visit to the Centers for Disease Control due to a suspected coronavirus case at the agency—and signed into law an emergency $8.3 billion spending bill—as his administration faces heavy criticism for its response to the outbreak and the U.S. confirms more cases.
- Trump was set to visit the CDC’s Atlanta, Georgia, headquarters between stops in tornado-stricken Tennessee and his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, but the CDC trip has been removed from his public schedule.
- According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the White House said Trump was postponing his visit so he would not “interfere with the CDC’s mission to protect the health and welfare of their people and the agency.”
- Trump signed an $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus spending bill Friday morning before departing the White House for Tennessee, according to the Washington Post.
- The Post also reported that Trump might visit the CDC Friday, after all; the president said the trip was called off due to a suspected coronavirus case at the agency, but it turned out to be negative.
- “So I may be going,” Trump said, adding, “We are going to see if they can turn it around.”
- Trump did, however, make a Tuesday visit to the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland, CBS News reported, where he said workers there have made “tremendous progress.”
Crucial quote: “We’ve signed the 8.3 billion,” Trump told White House reporters Friday, referring to the emergency bill.
Big number: $9 trillion. That’s how much value the coronavirus has wiped off the market in the past nine days, CNN reported.
Key background: As of Friday morning, there were 215 coronavirus cases across the U.S., with the death toll standing at 14, according to the New York Times. Several states have declared states of emergency: Washington State, where all but one of the fatalities have occurred, along with California and Maryland. Globally, nearly 100,000 have been sickened and over 3,300 have died, according to the Times. The U.S. is screening all airport travelers coming from Italy or South Korea, two other countries particularly hard-hit by the virus, while more restrictions have been implemented on travelers from Iran, another country struggling to contain the outbreak. It has been reported that Trump is considering restricting travelers “from certain countries where they’re having more of a breakout.” Trump has been criticized for downplaying the threat of the virus, while the administration has faced heat for creating botched test kits and then being too slow in making working kits available.