WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that a widespread spread of new respiratory viruses in the United States is not inevitable, even when the top health authorities around him warned Americans of the upcoming spread of more viruses.
Shortly after Trump’s speech, the administration announced a worrying development: another person in the United States was infected – a person in California does not seem to have traveled abroad or contacted the usual risk factors of other patients.
At a White House press conference, Trump tried to minimize concern because he insisted that the United States was “very, very prepared” for anything that brought the “COVID-19” outbreak. When the government reacted hard, he left Vice President Mike Pence to coordinate the work.
“This will end,” Trump said of the outbreak. “You don’t want to see panic because there’s no reason to be panicked.”
But the very healthy officials of Trump who stood next to him praised his fight against the new corona virus and emphasized that schools, companies and individuals must be prepared.
“We do expect more cases,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm that the latter case does not involve travel or contact with an infected person in the US, this is the first case in the country, indicating that efforts to prevent the spread of the virus are not going to be enough.
“It’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19,” the CDC said in a statement.
Since the emergence of the new virus in China, more than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 have occurred. The disease is characterized by fever and cough, with severe shortness of breath or pneumonia.
The latest cases from California have brought the total number of infections in the United States to 60, most of which have been evacuated from the affected areas.
Trump praised the border ban that prevented people from entering the United States from China because they have kept the level of infection low so far. But now countries around the world (from South Korea and Japan to Italy and Iran) are experiencing more and more cases. Asked if it was time to lift restrictions on China or take steps to allow travelers from elsewhere to take action, he said, “We can do it at the right time. This is not the time.”
Trump discussed the threat of the virus during a week after the stock market fell sharply last week due to a health crisis, while the government feared that the outbreak could affect his re-election. He blamed Democrats for falling stock markets and said, “I think when the financial markets look at Democratic candidates on that stage, they are very frustrated.” And predict a victory in November.
An important question is whether the Trump government is spending enough money to prepare the country, especially as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is striving to increase the number of states where people can be tested for the virus. Other important issues are the storage of masks and other protective equipment for health professionals and the development of vaccines or treatments.
Health officials initially had $ 105 million in emergency funding and are looking for dollars elsewhere. Earlier this week, Trump asked Congress to allocate $ 2.5 billion to fight the virus. New York State Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has proposed $ 8.5 billion.
Trump told reporters that he was “willing to spend appropriate money.”
Trump has repeatedly compared the new virus with the flu, which kills tens of thousands of people every year. The new coronavirus has killed more than 2,700 people, so far most people have died in China, but not the United States.