VP Pence — Coronavirus Infection Low Risk

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

More than 85,403 cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in over 60 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The global death toll is more than 2,900. Most infections and deaths are in China.

However, the U.S. has reported its first death of a man said to be in his 50s in the state of Washington.

Vice President Pence, who was put in charge of the coronavirus response, told MSNBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd that “the encouraging news is that, of the now, 22 Americans, including the man who sadly lost his life, the majority of them are recovering well.”

 He further said, “Local officials are in the lead, but in instances involving the coronavirus or any infectious disease, we have CDC on the ground immediately to assist and support. And they’re working to identify it. But I think it’s, I think it’s very important that the American people know that the risk of infection to people in this country remains low.”

He argued that Americans, for the most part, will recover if they contract the coronavirus.

“Well, there will be more cases. There’s no question. But it’s not my confidence. It is the confidence of all of our health experts who are widely regarded as the best in the world that it’s important that people in this country understand that while there are 46 Americans that we brought home from China and 22 Americans, now sadly with one loss of life, that the vast majority of, of those people and the vast majority of any American that would contract a coronavirus will, will be treated, they will recover.”

Mr. Pence noted that “the president’s concern is the health and safety of the American people.”

He added that the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong and “we’re going to focus on the health of the American people and this economy will — and particularly the stock market that saw some downturns this week, it will come back. But our focus is going to remain on the health and well-being of the American people.”

Nigel Bell, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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