With the death toll of COVID-19 (coronavirus) hitting an all-time high of 2,773 with 81,412 infected, President Trump has appointed Vice President Pence as the man in charge of monitoring and maintaining coronavirus in the United States.
His role will be to bring the Corona Taskforce together and to present various options to state and local leaders as well as directly to the president. “Mike is in the administration. He’s been very good, very adept. His Indiana model is why he’s the head,” said the CDC during this afternoon’s press conference.
With travel bans in place, a great staff behind him, and VP Pence in charge, Trump remains set on the fact that the risk to the American public remains low.
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In the United States, 15 cases of coronavirus have been detected and are being appropriately treated. During his press conference on February 26, Trump revealed that eight of those infected are currently residing in their homes, one is in the hospital (almost ready to go home), one is “not doing so great” in the hospital, and five have fully recovered.
He also mentioned that he felt as if the US had an obligation to bring back those stranded on the Princess Cruise in Japan, all of whom are currently in tight quarantines and are slowly but surely returning back to health.
During the conference, Trump was proud to show off a chart that displayed which countries are best and least prepared for the epidemic with the US being the first. Others on the list included the UK, Australia, Thailand, Sweden, Denmark, and Canada.
“The number 1 priority is the health and safety of the people… The risk to the American public remains very low. We have the greatest experts in the world right here,” said Trump.
He’d revealed that the US has been working on a vaccine that should be ready for testing within two months. After all clinical trials, it will be ready for the public in approximately a year and a half.
Another drug, remdesivir, is an antiviral drug that is currently being tested in a randomized trial. Results should conclude fairly soon, and if it does, the US will have something to distribute.
“I don’t think [coronavirus] is inevitable; it could possibly [come to the US]. Whatever happens, we’re totally prepared. We have the best-prepared people in the world. Congress is willing to give us much more [money] than we’re asking for. We’re ready, willing, and abled. [The virus] may get a little bigger, it may not get bigger at all, regardless, we’re excited,” Trump said, once again pointing to his chart of best-prepared countries.
Trump was proud to say that unlike ebola, coronavirus is much more like the flu. “It’s a little bit different [than the flu]. In some ways, it’s easier; in some ways, it’s tougher… In many cases, when you catch [coronavirus], it’s very light. Sometimes they just get the sniffles. Sometimes they feel really bad… It’s like the flu.”
Trump, along with the CDC, assured the American public to wash their hands, cover their coughs, and stay home when feeling any signs of illness. They are currently working with the heads of multiple states and creating plans on a larger scale. Discussions of further travel bans are currently being centered around virus hotspots such as Italy and Korea.
Overall, the president doesn’t feel like the American public has any reason to worry. “There’s no reason to panic, we have done so good,” he said. “Had I not made a decision early on not to make the travel ban, many more people would be infected… We’re finding very little problems. We’re treating this like the flu.”