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US: Mike Pence to lead efforts against coronavirus

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 27-02-2020 07:48 IST | Created: 27-02-2020 07:40 IST
US: Mike Pence to lead efforts against coronavirus
Image Credit: Flickr

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that his deputy Mike Pence will lead the administration efforts against coronavirus in the country. Hours after returning from India, Trump on Wednesday held a series of meetings to take stock of the situation in the United States.

At a White House press conference late in the evening, he announced that Vice-president Pence will lead the efforts to contain the spread of the virus that has claimed over 2,700 lives globally. "We are doing really well and Mike is going to be the in-charge. Mike will report back to me, but he's got a certain talent for this," Trump told reporters.

The US president said the safety of the American people was a priority for them due which they had earlier barred flights from the affected areas. "Because of all that we have done, the risk to the American people remains very low," he said, adding that they were ready to do everything possible to contain the disease.

The president also said that he is in touch with several world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, over the issue. The White House has requested the Congress for USD 2.5 billion to fight against virus, he said.

About the steps taken by the administration, Trump said they had stopped non-citizens from entering America from China and people are being screened. "We have quarantined those infected and those at risk. We have a lot of great quarantine facilities," he added.

Pence told reporters that the president had taken unprecedented measure to contain the virus. "The establishment of travel restrictions, aggressive quarantine effort of Americans, declaration of a public health emergency and establishing the White House corona task force are all reflective of the urgency that the president has brought to a whole of government approach," he said.

In recent days, the White House met over 40 health officials from over 30 states and territories to discuss how to respond to the potential threat posed by a coronavirus. "We'll be working with them in renewed ways to make sure they have the resources to be able to respond," Pence said.

According to the Secretary for Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, till date 15 cases of coronavirus have been detected in the United States. Only one new case has been detected in the past two weeks, Azar said.

"We also have three cases among Americans repatriated from Wuhan and 42 cases among American repatriated from the Diamond Princess (cruise ship) stuck in Japan," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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