Trump says coronavirus risk to Americans ‘very low’, names Pence head of US response

President Donald Trump assured Americans on Wednesday that the risk of coronemia virus remains “very low” and entrusted Vice President Mike Pence with responsibility for the United States’ response to the impending global health crisis.

In a White House briefing with his coronavirustask strength, Trump said public health officials are preparing to do “whatever we need” to deal with the epidemic.

He said he would accept any emergency expenses that Congress chose to allocate and that he did not immediately plan to restrict travel to and from countries like South Korea and the Italy who face epidemics.

“The risk to the American people remains very low,” said Trump, flanked by Pence and public health officials.

“We are ready to adapt and we are ready to do whatever we need to do as the disease spreads, if it spreads,” he said, adding that the spread of the virus in the United States was not “inevitable”.

“It probably will be, it may be. It could be at a very small level or at a higher level. Whatever happens, we are fully prepared,” he said.

Public health officials on Wednesday warned Americans to prepare for morecoronaviruscases and New York City announced plans to provide up to 1,200 hospital beds if needed, as US equity markets tumbled for the fifth consecutive day.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that although the virus is contained in the United States, Americans must prepare for a possible epidemic as the transmissions spread outside. from China.

“If we have a pandemic, then we will definitely be affected,” Fauci told CNN.

Officials from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday that the global march of the virus has raised concerns about its spread in the United States, although it is unclear when this might happen. produce or how serious it would be.

The United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, said that the United States had 59 coronaviruscases, including 42 American passengers repatriated from the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked in Japan.

“We have to be alert to the possibility of a pandemic,” said Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biological Assessment and Research at the Food and Drug Administration.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio has called on the federal government to help get 300,000 more face masks. There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city, he said.

Global stock markets have collapsed in recent days due to concerns over a prolonged disruption in supply chains and economies due to the virus, which has infected around 80,000 people and killed nearly 3,000 people, mainly in China.

Wednesday, US stocks fell in the afternoon, in a new wave of sales caused by fears of a spread of coronavir in the United States. The S&P 500 fell for the fifth consecutive day and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 123.77 points, or 0.46%.

(Reuters)