Trump Addresses Nation Over Coronavirus

He chooses Mike Pence to lead US response
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2020 6:29 PM CST
Trump Addresses Nation Over Coronavirus
President Donald Trump with members of the president's coronavirus task force speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump held a presser about the coronavirus Wednesday as the US announced its first case of unknown origin—meaning the person had apparently not traveled abroad or come on contact with a confirmed case, the Washington Post reports. As for Trump, he's putting Mike Pence on the case. "I'm going to be putting our Vice President Mike Pence in charge, and Mike will be working with the professionals, doctors and everybody else that's working," he said, per CNN. Trump also said he's willing to compromise with Democrats on coronavirus funding. "We started out by looking at certain things, we've been working with the Hill very, very carefully, very strongly, and I think that we have very good bipartisan spirit for money," he said.

"We were asking for $2.5 billion, and we think that that is a lot," he added. "But the Democrats—and I guess Senator Schumer—wants us to have much more than that." Indeed, the AP reports that Schumer is seeking $8.5 billion in a newly unveiled coronavirus proposal. "If they want [us to] give more, we'll do more," Trump said. "We'll spend whatever is appropriate." He also said a coronavirus vaccine is something America "can develop fairly rapidly." Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar took the podium and said "the immediate risk to the American public is and continues to be low." The CDC says the case of unknown origin is in Northern California, but little else is known. (One city has declared a state of emergency over coronavirus.)

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