In an exclusive interview with Fox News on Jan. 30, President Trump indicated that Washington is working closely with China amid the outbreak of the novel deadly coronavirus that has claimed the lives of hundreds of Chinese citizens and spread to over 19 countries in the world.
The president affirmed that the United States is “in great shape” in coping with the illness, with five confirmed cases in the United States saying, “We are in great shape. China is not in great shape right now, unfortunately. But they’re working very hard. We’ll see what happens. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries.” He further stated that the White House would make a statement “in the next 24 hours and 48 hours.”
According to South China Morning Post, the U.S. government has asked for Beijing’s permission to send the group of CDC experts to the Wuhan to collaborate with domestic health workers there and still waits for China’s reply.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in a press conference on Jan. 28, also mentioned another option for the U.S. experts joining the team of World Health Organization to work on the front lines of the illness outbreak, reported the outlet.
In another move, President Trump on Wednesday, Jan. 29, announced the formation of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force in response to the novel 2019 coronavirus.
The Task Force is led by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and is coordinated through the National Security Council. Members of the task force have been meeting on a daily basis since Monday.
“The Task Force will lead the administration’s efforts to monitor, contain, and mitigate the spread of the virus, while ensuring that the American people have the most accurate and up-to-date health and travel information,” according to a statement from the White House.
The 12-member group includes National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield, and the National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci.