WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve took emergency action Sunday and slashed its benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point to nearly zero and announced it would purchase more Treasury securities to encourage lending to try to offset the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The central bank said the effects of the outbreak will weigh on economic activity in the near term and pose risks to the economic outlook. The central bank said it will keep rates at nearly zero until it feels confident the economy has weathered recent events. The Fed also said it has dropped its requirements that banks hold cash reserves in another move to encourage lending.

During a Sunday evening news conference, President Trump asked Americans not to over-buy supplies and food, after speaking with the CEOs of America’s biggest grocery and retail chains.

(AP) President Donald Trump is calling on Americans to cease hoarding groceries and other supplies amid the spread of the novel coronavirus. Trump says he has spoken with leading grocery store executives and that the food supply chain remains healthy. Speaking at the same White House new conference Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence urged Americans to only buy the groceries they need for the week ahead. Pence says the federal government will release updated guidance on Monday concerning restaurants, bars and other establishments. California and Illinois are among jurisdictions that have ordered restaurants and bars to close to help slow the spread of the virus.

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