President Trump Outlines US Preparations for Coronavirus

Source:CGTN Published: 2020/3/1 8:21:43

US President Donald Trump attends a press conference in the White House in Washington D.C., the US, on Feb. 26, 2020. US President Donald Trump on Wednesday appointed Vice President Mike Pence to oversee the country's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In a rare press conference, President Donald Trump outlined his government's plan of action to stop the spread of the coronavirus but urged the country not to panic.

This comes as the first death in the US was confirmed, a person in the late 50s in the Seattle area, one of a number of new cases along the West Coast.

"Our country is prepared for any circumstance. We hope it's not going to be a major circumstance. It'll be a smaller circumstance. But whatever the circumstances, we're prepared, said President Trump. "We would respectfully ask the media and politicians and everybody else involved not do anything to incite a panic because there's no reason to panic at all."

Under orders from the coronavirus task force, the State Department will warn its citizens not to travel to specific regions of Italy and South Korea that are most affected by virus. The State Department will work with authorities in those countries to screen anyone coming to the U.S. It will also bar all foreign nationals who visited Iran in the past 14 days.

The White House will meet with pharmaceutical companies to discuss a possible vaccine.

President Trump also praised China's battle with the coronavirus. He suggested that the virus had strengthened relations between the two countries who are still in ongoing talks to finish a trade war agreement.

The Centers for Disease Control is establishing a nationwide testing infrastructure, aiming to have every state capable of testing for the virus by the end of next week. The White House and the National Academy of Sciences have created a committee of experts to help fight the virus.

Congress is getting a spending bill to fight the virus, ready for early next week. They are expected to agree to between $6 and $8 billion, triple what the white house suggested.

Democrats have criticized the White House's preparations, reminding it that it had tried to cut the budget of the Centers for Disease Control.

The outbreak has worried the markets, the Dow Jones recorded its worst week since the recession of 2008. The Federal Reserve has suggested they will cut interest rates if the economy needs an extra boost.


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