Watch Live: White House Task Force Holds Daily Briefing

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 - 11:25 AM

Update (1210ET): Following a more than 40 minute delay, Wednesday's press conference began with President Trump promising to invoke the 'Defense Production Act' in the virus response.

The act gives the government sweeping powers to marshal the economy to produce the equipment and virtually anything else to aid the effort against the virus. It's essentially a war-powers declaration that gives Trump powers more akin to President Xi Jinping.

He promised to hold another press conference either later today or early tomorrow to discuss some new "developments" that the FDA has been working "very very hard on," according to Trump.

The two Navy hospital ships that Defense Secretary Esper deployed yesterday are preparing to travel - one to New York, the other to San Francisco - to help states with the virus response.

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The White House coronavirus task force will deliver Wednesday's daily briefing at 11:30 am ET.

Last night, Steven Mnuchin reportedly tried to explain to a group of Republican Senators that if they didn't vote for the administration's massive $1 trillion+ stimulus package, then they would risk allowing the American economy to fall into a depression with unemployment rates as high as 20%, a level not seen in the US since the 1930s.

Alternatively, President Trump tweeted some potential good news this morning:

The question is - how many times will he call it the "Chinese Virus" during the presser (O/U is 3.5).