Feb 26, 2020
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning Americans to prepare for an outbreak of the coronavirus that’s rocked China and hammered the global economy — saying it’s not a question of “if” but “when” the virus will come to the United States. The warning came as new coronavirus cases spread far beyond China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, where more than 50 million people remain on lockdown.
Overnight, more deaths were reported in China, Italy, Japan and in South Korea, where a U.S. soldier has been quarantined after contracting coronavirus. In Iran, where the public health system has been decimated by U.S.-led sanctions, a lawmaker says 50 people have died of coronavirus infection in the city of Qom alone. Elsewhere, Algeria has reported its first case, and Brazil has reported its possible first patient.
In the U.S., San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency Tuesday, even though there have been no reported cases in the Bay Area. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned Americans to prepare for serious disruptions to daily life.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier: “Some community-level interventions that may be most effective in reducing the spread of a new virus, like school closures, are also the most likely to be associated with unwanted consequences and further disruptions. Secondary consequences of some of these measures might include missed work and loss of income. I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe, but these are things that people need to start thinking about now.”
CDC Warns of “Severe” Disruption to Daily Life in U.S. as Coronavirus Spreads
Feb 26, 2020
The CDC’s stark warning came on the same day that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow dismissed the threat of coronavirus, telling CNBC the virus was “contained.” His remark echoed President Trump’s assessment Tuesday that coronavirus was “very well under control.” On Capitol Hill, lawmakers grilled senior administration officials over their response to the crisis. This is Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, who blasted acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf for struggling to produce basic facts about the coronavirus outbreak.
Sen. John Kennedy: “Mr. Secretary” —
Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf: “My budget supports” —
Sen. John Kennedy: “You’re supposed to keep us safe.”
Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf: “My budget supports the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security.” —
Sen. John Kennedy: “You’re the secretary of homeland security.”
Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf: “Yes, sir.”
Sen. John Kennedy: “And you can’t tell me if we have enough respirators.”
Meanwhile, U.S. stock markets plunged for the second straight day Tuesday, with the Dow Jones falling by nearly 1,900 points this week on fears the coronavirus will further damage the global economy.