WATCH LIVE: President Trump to ‘Declare a National Emergency’ Over Coronavirus at 3PM

President Donald Trump waves before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Washington. Trump is en route to Ohio for a campaign rally. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


President Donald Trump will hold a press conference on Friday afternoon amid confusion and chaos about the coronavirus after reports Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who dined with him on Saturday at Mar-a-Lago, tested positive for the disease but then said a second test showed a negative result.

Trump, who shook hands with his Brazilian counterpart at that meal, will declare a national emergency, Bloomberg News reported, which would open the door to more federal funds for states and cities.

Additionally, Trump and his fellow G7 leaders spoke, according to French President Emmanuel Macron, and will hold a videoconference on Monday about combatting the disease.

‘Following my call with @realDonaldTrump and all G7 leaders, we agreed to organize an extraordinary Leaders Summit by videoconference on Monday on Covid-19. We will coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments, and work on an economic and financial response,’ Macron wrote on Twitter.

The president will answer questions at the 3 p.m. presser as the House prepares to vote on a coronavirus package, the stock market tries to recover from its worst day since the 1987 economic recession, and schools across the country have closed out of fears of spreading the virus.

He will likely be peppered with questions about his health, whether he should be tested, and why he hasn’t into voluntary self-quarantine, despite CDC guidelines describing someone in his situation as ‘medium risk’ for infection.

The president announced the press conference after reports out of Brazil said the Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus. One of the major newspapers in Rio de Janeiro, Journal O Dia, noted The Guardian’s Tom Phillips, reported the news of Bolsonaro’s positive test.

Bolsonaro, 64, was checked for the disease after his aide Fabio Wajngarten tested positive for it.

But a second test that came back on Friday showed the president tested negative, according to a statement on Bolsonaro’s official Facebook page, which is adding to the questions and confusion.

‘The Armed Forces Hospital and (diagnostic laboratory) Sabin have returned a negative test result for COVID-19 for the President of the Republic Jair Bolsonaro,’ the posting said. It was accompanied by a photo of Bolsonaro flashing an obscene arm gesture at the press.

On Thursday, Trump brushed aside concerns about his encounter with the Brazilians – the latest in a series of brushes the president has had with the highly-contagious disease.

Both Bolsonaro and Wajngarten, his press secretary, were at the Winter White House Saturday night. Wajngarten had his photo take with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump and the first family have resisted going into self-quarantine despite other lawmakers who came into contact with those testing positive for the disease going into voluntary isolation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends testing if you ‘have been in close contact with a person known to have’ the virus. The agency defines close contact as ‘being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time.’ Also, according to CDC guidelines, the president would be considered ‘medium’ risk for exposure.

Other world leaders are self-quarantining. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in a voluntary 14-day quarantine after his wife, Sophie, tested positive for the disease.

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Source: Daily Mail