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Trump: US ‘may be’ headed toward recession

President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Washington as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, listen. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Washington as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, listen. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

President Donald Trump says the United States “may be” headed toward a recession as the economy continues to be battered amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump spoke to reporters Monday at a White House briefing as cases in the U.S. continue to spike.

The president says his administration’s focus is on stemming the virus. Once the spread of the virus is stopped, Trump said he believes the U.S. economy will see a “tremendous, tremendous surge.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 11% Monday afternoon.

The president also is pledging federal support for airlines struggling because of the pandemic, saying he’s “going to back the airlines 100%.”

Trump also says governors that need ventilators, respirators, masks and other equipment for medical professionals should first try to acquire the items on their own before turning to the federal government for help.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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