President Donald Trump on Wednesday appointed Vice President Mike Pence to oversee the federal government's response to coronavirus.
The president made the announcement at a press conference at the White House in which he discussed the United States’ efforts to address a possible coronavirus pandemic.
“Mike will report back to me, but he's got a certain talent for this,” Trump said after the appointment.
Prior to the press conference, the president said the country is doing great and blames the market selloff on networks like MSNBC and CNN for doing everything possible to make the coronavirus look as bad as possible and panic investors.
Over 80,000 people have been infected globally from the viral outbreak that began in Wuhan, China and more than 2,700 people have died.
With outbreaks reported in Italy, South Korea and Iran, officials from the CDC said Tuesday that it is inevitable that the coronavirus will spread more widely in America, where a total of 35 cases have been reported.
“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen — and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the CDC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told WCBS 880 that the coronavirus is likely to become a global pandemic if containment measures aren’t improved.
But Trump said Tuesday that the situation is "very well under control in our country.''
Earlier this week, the White House asked Congress for an additional $2.5 billion for vaccines, treatment and protective equipment.
Health officials continue to recommend that people wash their hands often and always cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of infection.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Military says one of its soldiers based in South Korea has tested positive for the disease and has been moved into isolation. South Korea is dealing with nearly 1,200 cases of the virus — the most outside of China.