Trump Says Pence To Lead US Response To Coronavirus, Threat To Americans Remains Low

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 27th February, 2020) US President Donald Trump has announced that Vice President Mike Pence will be in charge of leading US response efforts to the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

"I'm going to be announcing exactly right now that i'm going to be putting our Vice President Mike Pence in charge," Trump said on Wednesday.

The US president said the virus poses a low risk to Americans but the United States will be prepared to adapt if the disease spreads.

Trump also said the outbreak could worsen in the United States, but such a situation is not inevitable.

This message conflicts with what US health officials said earlier this week, who warned that it was only a matter of time before the coronavirus turned into a global pandemic.

The administration, he added, will loosen travel restrictions to China when there is not a problem with respect to coronavirus. However, Trump also said it was too soon to restrict travel to Italy and South Korea, although they are checking people.

He said that hopefully travel will be in "good shape" by the summer.

Pence during the same press conference said the administration will add additional personnel in the White House to work on US response efforts.

Health Secretary Alex Azar later in the press conference said he would also be leading the task force, but welcomed Pence's involvement.

A US Centers for Disease Control official said the trajectory of the virus outbreak in the coming weeks and months ahead is uncertain.