Two days after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic, President Donald Trump brought in leaders of some of the country’s biggest companies to showcase a plan to tackle the outbreak.
Trump spoke Friday flanked by the CEOs of Target, Walmart, Walgreens and others as he updated the country on the government’s response to the virus. As he handed the mike and podium over to them the message was clear: we’re in good hands.
The market reacted well to the message, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing 1,985 points higher Friday.
Trump lauded the CEOs as “celebrities in their own right” and praised their companies as the greatest in the world. The executives, like Walmart chief Doug McMillon, said they will help America ramp up its testing by offering space in their parking lots.
The administration’s ability to quickly roll out tests has been marred by missteps and an underfunded system. In recent days, though, it has approved new tests, such as one from Swiss diagnostics-maker Roche, giving the government the capacity to make more.
“Today I trust that people in America are looking on at this extraordinary public and private partnership to address the issue of testing with particular inspiration,” said White House Vice President Mike Pence.
“After you tapped me to lead the White House coronavirus task force, Mr. President, you said, ‘this is all hands on deck’. You directed us to immediately reach out to the American business…
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