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February 26, 2020

Americans warned of likely outbreak Rs386b sought

Top Story

February 26, 2020

NEW YORK: Americans should brace for the likelihood that the coronavirus will spread to communities in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday.

“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country any more but a question of when this will happen,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, foreign media reported on Tuesday.

She said that public health officials have no idea whether the spread of the disease to the United States would be mild or severe, but that Americans should be ready for a significant disruption to their daily lives.

“We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad,” Dr Messonnier said.

The secretary of health and human services delivered an equally sobering message on Tuesday. The secretary, Alex M. Azar II, told a Senate committee, “This is an unprecedented, potentially severe health challenge globally.”

Federal and local health departments will need as many as 300 million masks for health care workers and additional ventilators for hospitals to prepare for a major outbreak of coronavirus, he said. “We cannot hermetically seal off the United States to a virus,” Azar said. “And we need to be realistic about that.”

President Trump, speaking earlier in the day from India, said that the United States was well able to protect itself against the spread of the coronavirus and offered an optimistic outlook.

“I think the whole situation will start working out,” Trump said during a news conference.

On Monday, the Trump administration requested $2.5 billion to help stop the spread of the virus. It asked Congress to authorize $1.25 billion(Rs386b) in new emergency funds and called for diverting another $1.25 billion from other federal programs.