President Trump addressed rising coronavirus concerns on Wednesday, saying the risk in the United States “remains very low” and disputed the CDC warning that it’s “inevitable” the highly contagious disease will spread here.
Trump also announced that Vice President Mike Pence will lead the U.S. coronavirus response.
The CDC on Tuesday said the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. is inevitable, as countries around the world experience spikes of cases and deaths.
“I don’t think it’s inevitable,” Trump told reporters at a press conference. “I think that we’re doing a really good job in terms of maintaining borders, in terms of letting people in, in terms of checking people.
“I think that there’s a chance that it could get worse. There’s a chance it could get fairly substantially worse, but nothing’s inevitable,” the president said.
Trump added that the risk to the American public “remains very low.”
More than 81,000 people have been infected with coronavirus since the illness emerged in China last month. The U.S. has had 57 cases so far, but health officials warn that more are coming.
“We’re very, very ready for this, for anything,” even if it’s “a breakout of larger proportions,” Trump said.
Pence will be working with CDC, NIH and other government agencies to coordinate the response.
“He’s got a certain talent for this,” Trump said of Pence.
Pence talked about his time as governor of Indiana, where the first MERS case emerged in 2014.
“I know full well the importance of presidential leadership, the importance of administration leadership, and the vital role of partnerships of state and local governments and health authorities in responding to the potential threat of dangerous infectious diseases,” Pence said.
About the recent stock market plunge because of coronavirus concerns, Trump said, “I think the stock market will recover.”
Herald wire services contributed to this report.
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