A deadly Asian virus is affecting the nation and now is the time to put party politics aside, the president has said.

President Donald Trump urged all Americans to recognize the Chinese coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact on everyone, and stressed the importance of postponing political debate to help heal the country.

“We are all in this together,” he said in his address to the nation. “We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together as one nation and one family.”

The president revealed the nation’s health care system has reached a crucial point in delaying COVID-19 from reaching epidemic levels and more international travel restrictions are needed to stop more Americans from being infected.

“We are at a critical time in the fight against the virus,” he said. “We made a lifesaving move with early action on China, now we must take the same action with Europe … [because] the European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”

He believes postponing any ban on travel could quickly result in many more deaths.

“We will not delay,” he said. “I will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to protect the lives, health, and safety of the American people … if we are vigilant—and we can reduce the chance of infection, which we will—we will significantly impede the transmission of the virus. The virus will not have a chance against us.”

The remarks came after the World Health Organization officially announced COVID-19 had become a global pandemic. More than 100,000 people have been infected globally, from which 1,329 people have tested positive to the disease in the United States. At least 38 U.S. residents have died of COVID-19 according to the Worldometer website.

The president believes the pandemic is another challenge the nation will rise to and overcome in the end.

“As history has proven time and time again, Americans always rise to the challenge and overcome adversity,” he said. “No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States. We have the best economy, the most advanced health care, and the most talented doctors, scientists, and researchers anywhere in the world … and taking early intense action, we have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe.”