Trump names VP Pence man in charge of coronavirus response

US President Donald J. Trump (L) gestures as he and US Vice President Mike Pence depart after speaking to the media in the James S. Brady Briefing room with members of the Coronavirus Task Force at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 26 February 2020. EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER

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US President Trump has appointed his Vice-President Mike Pence to coordinate the government response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Both men told a White House news conference that the risk to the American people remained very low.

The announcement came as new cases of Covid-19, the infection caused by the Wuhan coronavirus, continue to spread at a rapid pace around the world.

Sixty cases have so far been reported in the US.

Minutes after the White House news conference, the authorities confirmed another US case of Covid-19.

Addressing the press, Mr Trump expressed confidence that the US would be able to handle coronavirus.

“We’re very, very ready for this,” Mr Trump said. Researchers were “rapidly developing” a vaccine, he said.

The highest-ranking career official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention delivered a slightly different message from the same podium in the White House briefing room: Not so fast.

“Our aggressive containment strategy here in the United States has been working,” Principal Deputy Director Ann Shuchat said. “However, we do expect more cases, and this is a good time to prepare.”

 

Read more via CNN/The New York Times

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