In a press conference from the Rose Garden that began around 3:30 pm Eastern, stocks surged Friday after President Trump said that leaders of many large companies in the United States had agreed to help with widespread efforts to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus, and declared a national emergency that would free billions in funding for states and territories to fight the pandemic.
We’re announcing a new partnership with the private sector to vastly increase and accelerate our capacity to test for the coronavirus. We want to make sure that those who need a test can get a test very safely, quickly, and conveniently, but we don’t want people to take a test if we feel that they shouldn’t be doing it. And we don’t want everyone running out and taking, only if you have certain symptoms. – President Trump
Trump said Google has 1,700 engineers building a website for those who are concerned they have COVID-19. Users will fill out a questionnaire and, if deemed necessary, will be directed to a local drive-thru test site that the U.S. government is preparing to roll out across the country in partnership with the likes of Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, etc.
The S&P 500 rose more than 9 percent Friday, with most of the gains coming as government officials and business executives spoke at a news conference at the White House.
Mr. Trump said the administration was working with Google to develop a website to determine whether an individual needs a test — a move aimed at avoiding overwhelming the health system with people who are ill but do not necessarily need to be tested for coronavirus.
The chief executives of Walmart, Target and Walgreens all said they had agreed to make facilities available for testing.
Mr. Trump said he would waive interest on all student loans held by all government agencies. He also said that the energy secretary would be buying “large quantities of oil” to fill up the country’s strategic reserve.
President Trump declares national emergency:
In an announcement from the White House Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump said that he has announced an emergency declaration to free up more federal resources that states can access as they respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The order also breaks some of the logjam that had stymied the ability of local and state health care organizations to conduct testing for the novel coronavirus… the authorization opens up state access to Medicaid more quickly than had happened under the Obama administration during its response to the swine flu outbreak. President Obama waited until October to issue an Emergency.
“We had some very old and obsolete rules,” the President said of the regulations that have been circumvented by the excecutive order. These rules will allow testing to ramp up across the country in state labs and private facilities.
MacDailyNews Take: The national emergency declaration, the COVID-19 testing plans, etc. seem to be well-received by the market. In the last 30 minutes of trading, after the president’s press conference began, shares of Apple surged from $256.22 to close at $277.97 and the Dow moved up from 21,747.52 to 23,185.62.