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U.S. officials admitted Tuesday that the United States is likely to suffer a coronavirus outbreak, one day after the Trump administration requested $2.5 billion to help slow the spread of the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that it now expects a large increase in U.S. cases, and urged Americans to prepare for “the expectation that this might be bad.”
Nancy Messonnier, the director of the Center DC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that “it’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country any more but a question of when this will happen.” She also warned that “the disruption of daily life might be severe.”
The Trump administration has delivered a mixed response on the virus, with U.S. health secretary Alex Azar admitting during a Senate hearing on Tuesday that “we cannot hermetically seal off the United States to a virus . . . and we need to be realistic about that.” Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf added that “we only know that, again, we anticipate those numbers to grow in the U.S.,” but said he could not give an “exact number.”
Later in the day, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow struck a different tone on CNBC. “We have contained this — I won’t say airtight, but it’s pretty close to airtight,” he said.
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