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Trump says coronavirus risk in U.S. is low; CDC confirms first case of unknown origin

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 27, 2020 - Duration: 02:31s

Trump says coronavirus risk in U.S. is low; CDC confirms first case of unknown origin

President Donald Trump told Americans on Wednesday that the risk from coronavirus remained "very low," and placed Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the U.S. response to the looming global health crisis.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

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Trump says coronavirus risk in U.S. is low; CDC confirms first case of unknown origin

President Donald Trump made a rare appearance in the White House press briefing room on Wednesday... (SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We're very, very ready for this." ...to address the global spread of the coronavirus and his administration's efforts to contain it.

(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Because of all we've done, the risk to the American people remains very low... We're ready to adapt and we're ready to do whatever we have to as the disease spreads, if it spreads." The briefing came on the same day the number of new infections outside China for the first time exceeded new cases inside China, where the outbreak began.

(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We're at the low level..." But Trump said the spread of the coronavirus - in the United States - was under control.

(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We're going down not up.

We're going very substantially down, not up.

But, yeah, I think schools should be preparing and get ready just in case... I think that there's a chance that it could get worse.

There's a chance it could get fairly substantially worse.

But nothing's inevitable." Trump also announced he's putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the government response to the outbreak... (SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE, SAYING: "Thank you, Mr. President." ...and offered his own advice for how to fight off infectious diseases.

(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Always, look, I do it a lot anyway, as you probably heard... wash your hands, stay clean.

You don't have to necessarily grab every hand rail unless you have to." Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of the possibility of a community spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. after a person in California, who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient, was infected with the virus.

Also on Wednesday, Brazil confirmed Latin America's first coronavirus infection.

(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "One person in Brazil.

But Italy is a deeper problem." Trump also addressed the recent slump in the stock market, saying he thought it was partly due to the coronavirus, but also attributed the drop the Democratic presidential field.

(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I think the financial markets are very upset when they look at the Democrat candidates standing on that stage making fools out of themselves.

And they say, 'If we ever have a president like this,' and there's always a possibility.

It's an election.

You know, who knows what happens, right?

I think we're going to win.

I think we're going to win by a lot.

But when they look at the statements made by the people standing behind those podiums, I think that has a huge effect, yeah." The S&P 500 fell for a fifth straight day on Wednesday moving deeper into negative for the year.

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