WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump spoke Wednesday evening concerning the recent Coronvaris scare that has many Americans concerned for their health and safety.
President Trump has appointed Vice President Mike Pence in charge of controlling the threat in the U.S.
“I think he’s really very expert at the field,” said President Trump. “Mike will be working with the professionals, doctors, and everybody else that’s working, the team’s brilliant.”
VP Pence spoke about the safety and security of the American people and how he would address the issue.
“President Trump’s made it clear from the first day of his administration that we have no higher priority than the safety, security, health and well being of the American people,” said Pence.
He mentioned that the White House will continue to reach out to state governors as they have already met with 40 health officials across the nation to discuss how to respond to the potential threat of the Coronavirus.
Currently, there are 15 cases of the Coronavirus that have been detected in the U.S. with only one new case being detected in the last two weeks, according to the director of the CDC. That brings the total of cases to 60 that have traveled to the U.S.
The count in the U.S. includes people who traveled back from outbreak areas in China or their spouses; three people who were evacuated from the central China city of Wuhan, 42 Americans who were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and were evacuated by the federal government to the U.S. from where the ship was docked in Japan, and 15 cases who have contracted it in the U.S.
“The President’s early and decisive actions including travel restrictions have succeeded in buying us incredibly valuable time,” said Alex Azar, Secretary at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
He goes on to explain the immediate risk to the public is low. However, he says the threat has just begun.
“What every one of our experts and leaders have been saying for more than a month now remains true, the degree of risk has the potential to change quickly and we can expect to see more cases in the United States,” said Azar.
The CDC encourages the public to be proactive and educate themselves on the CDC website.
“Our aggressive containment strategy here in the U.S. has been working and is responsible for the low levels of the cases that we have so far,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC. “However, we do expect more cases and this is a good time to prepare.”
For those who don’t know, the Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that is spread similar to the common cold or to influenza. It is spread through coughs and sneezes so the CDC urges that people cover their cough, stay home when they’re sick, and washes their hands.
Updating on countermeasures and vaccines, Dr. Tony Foucher, Director at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease gave and update.
“I told you we would have a vaccine we would be putting into trials to see if it is safe and if it induces a response,” said Dr. Foucher. “In about three months, I think it’s going to be a little less than that, it’s probably going to be closer to two months. That would then take about three months to determine if it’s safe which gives us six months.”
He then said that is phase one of a trial that advances to a trial with hundreds or thousands which could take an additional six to eight months.
While the agencies are going at their fastest pace, they say it will take a year to a year and a half to make a vaccine in hopes that everything is successful from the beginning.
All people who lived or traveled to Hubei Province, China are considered at high risk and subject to a 14-day quarantine upon entry into the U.S. As of Tuesday, more than 600 people who returned on chartered flights remain under federal quarantine as they are closely monitored to contain the spread of the virus.
The administration has asked Congress for an additional $2.5 billion to speed the development of a vaccine, support preparedness, and response activities, and to gather needed equipment and supplies.