U.S. President Trump has appointed Vice President Mike Pence to coordinate the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Both told a White House press conference that the risk to the American people remained very low.
The announcement came when new cases of Covid-19, the infection caused by Wuhan’s coronavirus, continue to spread rapidly around the world.
So far sixty cases have been reported in the United States.
The latest was confirmed last Wednesday.
Speaking at a White House press conference, Trump expressed confidence that the United States would be able to manage the coronavirus.
“We are very, very ready for this,” said Trump. The researchers were “rapidly developing” a vaccine, he said.
However, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said he did not expect a vaccine to be ready for a year and a year and a half soon.
The press conference came when Trump was criticized for suggesting earlier in a tweet that the media had fueled unnecessary alarms about the coronavirus “to make the Caronavirus [sic] look as ugly as possible. “
“USA in great shape!” he tweeted.
However, he admitted to his press conference that the United States should prepare for the spread of the virus. “Every aspect of our society should be prepared,” he said.
It contradicted public health officials who had previously warned that the spread of the virus in the United States was a matter of when, not if. “I don’t think that’s inevitable,” Trump told reporters.
He credited decisions to limit certain flights to the United States with the number of infections.
Alex Azar, the United States Secretary of Health, said the White House developed a plan to focus on five priorities, including better disease surveillance, coordination of local government response, development of therapies and an increase the production of personal health protection devices, such as masks.
Further cases are expected in the United States, Azar said.