A plunging stock market has exacerbated President Donald Trump's rising concerns over how to stem the outbreak of the coronavirus even though he has publicly declared the virus to be "very much under control in the USA," multiple people tell CNN.
As the virus has spread, investors are growing concerned about its economic impact, as is the President, whose reelection campaign is banking on a strong economy. While overseas for the last two days, Trump initially downplayed the impact after the Dow plunged over 1,000 points Monday, one person said, but paid close attention as the fears were evident for a second day in a row.
Trump has a briefing on the coronavirus with top aides Wednesday. He announced Wednesday morning that he would hold a news conference at the White House about coronavirus at 6 p.m. ET.
He has been publicly downplaying the effects because he thinks doing otherwise could cause further panic in the markets -- and he's been frustrated with officials issuing warnings about the unknowns of the virus's spread.
One of the top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans on Tuesday that health experts foresee the coronavirus that has killed thousands abroad spreading in the United States.
"We expect we will see community spread in this country," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "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's son-in-law Jared Kushner is one aide who encouraged Trump to downplay the latest developments, at least publicly, one person says.
Earlier this month, the United States began implementing travel restrictions on foreign nationals who had visited China and US citizens who have been near the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China's Hubei province. Before Trump announced the China restrictions there was a debate inside the White House about the logistics of applying such a ban.
And behind the scenes, Trump is pushing for more travel restrictions on countries where the virus is spreading to, administration officials tell CNN, but so far no decisions have been made.
Administration officials have been privately weighing imposing additional travel bans similar to the one the US has already imposed with regard to foreigners who have been in China, a senior administration official and sources close to the White House said.
"If it gets to the point where we need to do that, we will," a senior administration official said.
The administration increased the travel advisory warning for Japan and South Korea earlier this week, so those two countries would be likely targets for increased travel restrictions.
As CNN previously reported, Trump has been privately lashing out at officials for coronavirus-related decisions. His instinct has been to seal off the US from those testing positive, even Americans, though he acknowledged at a press conference in India that allowing them back into the US was the right thing to do.