Trump announces coronavirus news conference Wednesday evening

US working ‘aggressively’ to mitigate coronavirus in America: Alex Azar

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar says our country is prepared to handle the coronavirus if it spreads.

President Trump said he will address the coronavirus outbreak in a news conference at 6 p.m. ET Monday.

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The White House had not previously announced the event.

Trump, who just returned from a trip to India, tweeted that officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also be at the briefing.

The announcement comes as the administration has sought to assure the public that the virus threat is under control in the U.S., while the CDC told Americans to prepare for an outbreak here.

AMERICA HAS PREPARED FOR CORONAVIRUS FOR YEARS, SECRETARY AZAR SAYS

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who leads work on respiratory diseases for the CDC, told reporters Tuesday that "it's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen – and how many people in this country will have severe illness."

Trump points to a question during a news conference, Tuesday, in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told FOX Business' Lou Dobbs on Tuesday that the government has been "preparing for decades for the spread of a virus like this."

"We know what we're doing," Azar said. "This is what we do. And so, I think part of the message to the American people is we all need to take a bit of a deep breath here. The government is working on this."

S&P 500 TAKES $1.7 TRILLION CORONAVIRUS TWO-DAY HIT

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both registered the largest two-day point drop on record through Tuesday, per the Dow Jones Market Data Group, as the coronavirus spreads across the globe.

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Tuesday's drubbing clipped 3 percent from the Dow and S&P 500 and just under that for the Nasdaq Composite.

The White House has asked Congress for $2.5 billion to fight the virus, while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants $8.5 billion, a senior Senate Democratic aide told FOX Business' Blake Burman.

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The Associated Press and FOX Business' Suzanne O'Halloran contributed to this report.

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