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President Trump just addressed the nation about coronavirus. Here are the highlights

Trump spoke for about 20 minutes about coronavirus. Here’s what happened

SHARE President Trump just addressed the nation about coronavirus. Here are the highlights
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington.

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington.

Evan Vucci, Associated Press

President Donald Trump addressed the American people Wednesday afternoon to talk about the coronavirus, naming Vice President Mike Pence as the head of the new task force and limiting fears of the American people.

  • The coronavirus has infected more than 81,000 people and killed almost 3,000 people across the world.

Here’s a breakdown of the highlights from his speech.

  • Trump said he received a briefing from multiple health officials about the virus “that is going around to various parts of the world.” He said he’s talked about it every day and he’s worked to keep travel borders closed and limited the spread. “Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low.”
  • Trump said there is good bipartisan support in Congress to get something done about the coronavirus.
  • Trump said the White House will be satisfied with whatever amount of money Congress decides on to combat coronavirus. He said Republicans and Democrats want different amounts, but the White House is willing to spend whatever it takes, he said. “We’re going to spend whatever’s appropriate. Hopefully we won’t have to spend too much” because the virus is being kept under control.
  • Trump said he talked with President Xi Jinping in China about the coronavirus. He said Xi has done well to limit the spread of the virus. “If you can count on the reports coming out of China, that spread has gone down quite a bit. ... It’s actually gotten smaller.”
  • Trump said he was “shocked” to learn that the common flu kills between 25,000 and 69,000 people per years. “That was shocking to me. So far, if you look at what we have with the 15 people, one is pretty sick. But hopefully will recover. The others are in great shape.” He mentioned the statistic to compare the common flu versus the coronavirus.
  • Trump said a “vaccine is coming along.” After Trump spoke, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stepped up to the podium and mentioned a vaccine is on the way but it could take anywhere from six months to a year to be fully ready after trials.
  • Trump said Pence will lead the task force to combat the coronavirus.
  • Trump tried to calm fears for the American people. “We’re very, very ready for this. ... We’re at a low level and we want to keep it that way.”