President Donald Trump assigned vice president Mike Pence as the person responsible for responding to the imminent threat of the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Trump also announced Wednesday in an address from the White House that the risk of coronavirus to people in the U.S. is still “very low.”
Trump said that Pence has “a certain talent for this,” appointing him as the person-in-charge of the country’s response to the intensifying woes over the spread of the deadly virus. Trump cited Pence’s experience in health care policymaking in Indiana, making him fit for the role.
As part of his new job, Pence is expected to lead the coordination efforts of different sectors and agencies related to the country’s response to the pandemic.
In a rare appearance at the briefing room podium, Trump delivered what it appears to be unprepared remarks saying that the spread of the deadly disease in the U.S. isn’t “inevitable.” However, he also told the press that it’s possible that “it could get fairly substantially worse.” The President’s statement contradicts the statement made by U.S. health officials on Thursday, claiming that the coronavirus outbreak will inevitably spread to the U.S.
But the U.S. is ready for “anything,” Trump said, including an outbreak “of larger proportions.”
As fears over COVID-19 intensifies, U.S. futures plunged sharply on Wednesday, forcing Wall Street to tread through correction territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 1,190.95 points, or 4.4%, to close at 25,766.64. The S&P 500 slid 4.4% to 2,978.76 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.6% to 8,566.48. The Dow had its worst day since February 2018 while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day loss since August 2011.