Behind Trump's coronavirus shift

Administration officials, increasingly concerned about the messaging on and response to the coronavirus, had spent the weekend scrambling to craft a strategy to shift the president’s response, which had been focused on downplaying the threat and accusing the media of creating undue concern, according to people involved in the effort.

So as Trump stepped off Marine One and walked straight to the West Wing just after 3 p.m. Monday, his top economic and health officials were waiting to make their case for why a more serious fiscal and public health response was urgently needed. Those at the meeting included economic adviser Larry Kudlow, Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Shortly after the meeting wrapped, Trump appeared ready to start taking a stronger approach — at least compared to the one he had offered that morning, when he likened the coronavirus to the seasonal flu, tweeting of the flu that “nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on.”