Donald Trump accused the media of presenting the danger of the virus in a light as serious as possible and of upsetting the financial markets.
The Republican president tweeted that CNN and MSNBC, which often criticize him both, “are doing everything they can to make (the new coronavirus) as ugly as possible, including panic-stricken markets.”
Trump, who is stepping up his re-election campaign ahead of the November presidential election, has not specified what he didn’t like about the coverage.
He will hold a press conference on Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence and members of his coronavirus task force at 2330 GMT.
Dr Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which was to inform Trump, said that while the virus was contained in the United States, Americans must prepare for a potential outbreak as broadcasts spread out of the China.
“If we have a pandemic, we will almost certainly be affected,” Fauci told CNN.
Coronavirus continues to spread worldwide
Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday said the global march of the virus has raised concern about its spread in the United States, although it is unclear when this can happen or how serious it is.
United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said Wednesday that the United States has 59 coronavirus cases, including 42 American passengers repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan.
“We must be alert to the possibility of a pandemic,” said Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biological Evaluation and Research of the Food and Drug Administration.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city had 1,200 hospital beds that could be made available if needed and called on the federal government to help her get 300,000 additional protective masks. There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city, he said.
Global equity markets have collapsed in recent days due to concerns about a prolonged disruption of supply chains and economies from the virus, which has infected some 80,000 people and killed nearly 3,000, especially in China.
US equities declined on Wednesday afternoon after a new wave of sales sparked by fears of the coronavirus spreading across the United States. The S&P 500 index fell for the fifth consecutive day and the industrial average Dow Jones closed down 123.77 points, equal to 0.46%. [.N]
Trump has been increasingly alarmed by the fall in the US stock markets, which he considers a barometer of the health of the American economy and considers the key to his reelection.
The CDC advised Americans not to visit China and South Korea, and on Wednesday intensified travel warnings for Iran, Italy and Mongolia about the risks of the disease.
It is also considering expanding airport projections to target passengers from countries that have seen recent spikes in cases such as Italy and South Korea, according to NBC News.
Azar, the health secretary, told lawmakers that the United States is unlikely to take measures such as regional quarantines, which China and other countries have used, if the United States faces a more severe coronavirus outbreak.
“It is very rare that these types of sanitary cordon in cities are effective. Usually they promote more panic and cause people to leave and spread (a disease). Now, China has a different government and culture than those. that we have here, “he said at the hearing.
During his recent trip to India, Trump praised U.S. health officials while minimizing the potential impact of the virus on the United States.
Donald Trump state visit to the UK
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, on Wednesday dismissed Trump’s assertion in India that the coronavirus was under control at home.
“I don’t think the president knows what he’s talking about, once again,” she told reporters.
Trump is seeking $2.5 billion from Congress to boost its virus response. Democrats have warned that amount falls far short of what is needed and have also urged the White House to appoint a “czar” who could coordinate a national response.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday called for $8.5 billion to prepare.
A congressional source said the Democratic-controlled House will attempt to advance a coronavirus emergency funding bill before the next recess, scheduled to begin on March 12.
The funding level being considered, according to sources, could be in the range of what Congress provided for battling some past virus outbreaks, which they said were in the $4 billion to $7 billion range.