Trump Says ‘We’re Ahead’ of Virus, Spread Isn’t Inevitable
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), right, listens during a briefing at the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S. (Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/Bloomberg)

Trump Says ‘We’re Ahead’ of Virus, Spread Isn’t Inevitable

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said that the government is ahead of the coronavirus outbreak and it isn’t inevitable that the disease will spread in the U.S.

“We’re ahead of it by having stopped so much earlier,” Trump said Tuesday, a reference to his order in January to restrict travel from China, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Trump Says ‘We’re Ahead’ of Virus, Spread Isn’t Inevitable

He spoke to reporters as he left the White House to visit the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, which is working with drug makers to accelerate research into vaccines and antiviral treatments for the coronavirus.

Washington state reported a seventh death from the virus as Trump was speaking, according to the Associated Press, and at least 100 Americans have been infected. Trump said a long-term care facility outside Seattle that’s connected to most of the U.S. deaths is the only hotspot for the virus in the country.

The president said he may consider further travel restrictions for countries with large outbreaks, specifically naming Italy, South Korea and Japan. He said his administration is not considering domestic travel curbs.

“We’re now looking at other countries that have been badly affected and we’re thinking about doing something,” Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that Italy and South Korea had agreed to subject all air passengers departing their countries for the U.S. to multiple temperature checks before boarding planes. South Korea has more than 5,000 cases of the disease and Italy has more than 2,500.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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