(PresidentialWire.com) – Until recently, the coronavirus was all but isolated in Wuhan, the capital city of the Hubei province in Central China. Now, two months after the initial outbreak of the virus, federal health officials are warning the American public to prepare for the “inevitable” spread of it in the United States.
On Tuesday, a few health agencies — led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the National Institutes of Health — said it would be a matter of when, not if, the virus would begin spreading within the U.S. The threat of the virus penetrating the U.S. — and the effect it’s had overseas already — has caused a big hit to the stock markets here, including the Dow Jones industrial, which saw its largest two-day loss in the last two years.
But while the health agencies sounded the warning alarm yesterday, they were also quick to say the immediate threat to the U.S. is still low. During a quick news conference Tuesday afternoon, CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat said:
“We believe the immediate risk here in the United States remains low, and we’re working hard to keep that risk low.”
That contrasted sharply with what Nancy Messonnier said earlier in the morning during a press briefing. Mesonnier, who is the CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said:
“Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in the United States. It’s not a question of it this will happen, but when this will happen, and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses.”
According to Mesonnier, the reason for the upgrade in warnings from the CDC to U.S. residents is the rapid surge in coronavirus cases that have occurred recently outside of mainland China. The most serious outbreaks outside China have occurred in South Korea (which has nearly 1,300 confirmed cases), Iran and Italy, where the number of reported cases seems to jump significantly every day.
Many have criticized China’s efforts — or lack thereof — to try to control the disease, and the news gets worse by the day. Early Wednesday, it was reported that Chinese officials seized more than 31 million face masks that were either inferior in design or fake. That led to the arrest of a whopping 1,500 people who are suspected as being part of the manufacturing or distribution of the counterfeit/inferior masks, which are designed to protective the spread of diseases such as coronavirus.
President Donald Trump will hold a news conference at 6:00 Wednesday with CDC representatives to talk about the potential coronavirus spread to the U.S. On Twitter Wednesday morning, he urged against panic and bashed liberal media outlets for their reporting:
“Low Ratings Fake News MSNDC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus (sic) look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!”