President Donald Trump has tested negative for the China-originated novel coronavirus, according to the commander-in-chief’s doctor, The Associated Press reported Saturday night.
During a press conference concerning the virus on Friday, multiple reporters pressed the president with regard to testing. At the time, Trump said his doctors had not advised him to take a test, noting that he felt good.
As highlighted by the AP, the White House announced that temperature checks will now be conducted by anyone who is in close contact with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who has been tasked with leading the coronavirus containment efforts. Reporters who attend White House briefings and anyone who steps foot in the Oval Officer will be included in the temperate testing.
VP Pence also issued a memo on Saturday to White House staffers, advising them to take extra health precautions.
“It’s imperative each one of us do our part to take the proper precautions to keep ourselves and our colleagues safe,” Pence wrote in the memo, the AP noted. “As an employee aboard the White House Complex, we have an additional duty to protect the health of our Executive Branch and those working with us.”
During his Friday address, the president officially declared a national emergency over the spread of COVID-19, which unlocked $50 billion to address the virus.
“We’re taking several decisive new actions in our very vigilant effort to combat and ultimately defeat the coronavirus,” Trump said in the Rose Garden, The Daily Wire reported. “We had some very old and obsolete rules that we had to live with that worked under certain circumstances but not under mass circumstances. They were in place a long time and we’re breaking them down now and they’re very usable for certain instances but not for this.”
“To unleash the full power of the federal government under this effort, I’m officially declaring a national emergency,” the president announced. “The action I am taking will open up access to up to $50 billion of very important and a large amount of money for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease.”
“In furtherance of the order, I’m urging every state to set up emergency operations centers effective immediately,” Trump added.
The speech sparked a surge on Wall Street, CBS News reported:
The Dow surged 1,985 points, or 9.4%, to close at 23,186, with much of the gains coming after Mr. Trump held a press conference that began at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time to outline the White House’s plans for addressing the outbreak. The S&P 500-stock index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq both gained 9.3%.
Later in the day, Trump announced that Sunday would be a National Day of Prayer.
“It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these,” Trump said via Twitter.
“No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!” he added.
It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2020