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Trump puts Mike Pence in charge of response to coronavirus, says US possibility ‘remains very low’


Vice President Mike Pence will probably be put in charge of the U.S. response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday in an address from the White Apartment.

Trump, speaking with out prepared remarks in a rare appearance at the briefing room podium, maintained that the chance to the U.S. from the virus “remains very low,” amid global fears that a pandemic can be imminent.

The spread of the disease in the U.S. is no longer “inevitable,” Trump said, although he celebrated that or no longer it is doable that “it may possibly get fairly substantially worse.” A day earlier, federal health officials said the spread of the virus was “inevitable.”

But the U.S. is ready for “anything,” Trump said, including an outbreak “of larger proportions.”

Trump said he would be putting Pence, who has “a certain talent for this,” in charge of the response.

The president claimed that his veep’s experience with health care policy as governor of Indiana made him a dependable fit for the role.

Pence will probably be in charge of coordinating the medical and other professionals working to retain the virus at bay in the U.S., Trump said.

Trump announced the news convention in a tweet Wednesday morning, almost immediately after returning from a state seek advice from to India where he downplayed the threat of the virus to the U.S. “We’re really down to probably 10” cases, Trump told newshounds there.

The president also sowed some confusion in India, when he said “we’re very shut to a vaccine” — a claim that the White Apartment said was made in reference to the Ebola virus, no longer the coronavirus.

Around noon Wednesday, the CDC had confirmed 60 coronavirus cases in the U.S., a majority of which came from passengers repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Japan.

The agency also confirmed the primary doable “neighborhood spread” of the coronavirus in the U.S., found in a patient in California. The CDC would no longer know exactly how the patient contracted the virus.

From its epicenter in Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, the virus has spread to nearly each corner of the globe, killing extra than 2,700 folk and infecting tens of thousands extra.

Hours sooner than the presser was scheduled to begin, Politico reported that the White Apartment was considering appointing a coronavirus czar. The White Apartment denied the file, and Health and Human Companies Secretary Alex Azar said that he didn’t anticipate a czar being appointed.

“Mike’s no longer a czar,” Trump said when asked about his decision to put Pence in charge of the response to the coronavirus. “This is no longer a czar … I have very talented folk. I want to employ them on this.”

Azar told newshounds in the briefing room that he is serene the chairman of the coronavirus task force. He said he is “jubilant” to have Pence “helping” him on the plan.

Trump has rarely appeared in the James S. Brady Briefing Room, where White Apartment press secretaries have traditionally fielded questions from the clicking. The last official press briefing, on the other hand, was nearly a year ago during the tenure of passe press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The latest press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, has never held an official press briefing.

The Trump administration has taken a large quantity of steps in response to the virus, such as declaring a public health emergency and imposing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines. And White Apartment officials, along with Trump himself, have labored to ease fears of a pandemic that have rattled governments and investors around the arena.

Azar testified sooner than Congress on Wednesday that the administration’s response to the coronavirus “has been the smoothest interagency job I’ve skilled in my 20 years of dealing with public health emergencies.”

A day earlier, National Financial Director Larry Kudlow told CNBC that “We have contained this. I would no longer say [it’s] airtight, however or no longer it is blooming shut to airtight.”

Kudlow’s comments contrasted with a CDC official who said that “Latest global circumstances counsel or no longer it is probably this virus will cause a pandemic.”

The administration’s comments have failed to calm markets in latest trading sessions, on the other hand. Stocks plunged Monday and Tuesday in the largest two-day sell-off in years. After initially clawing back some ground on Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average as soon as again fell into the crimson to cease the trading session.

Trump was angered by the CDC’s briefing Tuesday, CNBC reported.

Democratic leaders and presidential candidates have criticized the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak.

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., slammed the Trump administration’s $2.5 billion coronavirus budget request as “too miniature too late.” Schumer said Wednesday that $8.5 billion was crucial to fight the outbreak in the U.S.

Trump shot back at his critics during the news convention at the White Apartment on Wednesday night. “If they want to give us extra cash, we will take extra cash,” he said.

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