President Trump at a White House press conference on Wednesday exuded confidence that his quick action has protected the nation from widespread outbreak of COVID-19 that is affecting countries like Italy, South Korea and Iran.
Don’t be surprised if we get a flood of “news” stories about potential US coronavirus outbreaks that never materialize to counter Trump’s message.
Trump also announced the appointment of Vice President Mike Pence as the administration’s point man on overseeing the White House’s coronavirus response team.
During the news conference the president pointed to CDC statistics that state over the last 10 years the annual US influenza outbreak claims more lives than the coronavirus has up to now.
“I was really amazed and I think most people are amazed to hear it, the flu in our country kills from 25,000 people to 69,000 people a year. That was shocking to me,” Trump said.
Trump pointed out how his administration quick reaction to COVID-19 was chided about stopping flights out of certain Chinese cities back in January before the outbreak was making headlines across the globe.
Speaking on the effects on the stock markets wiping out a reported $3.3 trillion in market cap, the president said the economy is strong and the selloff may have something to do with the virus, he also cited the weak performances of the Democratic Presidential candidates as contributing to the market malaise.
US stock futures are looking at another 1% drop at the open.
In other COVID-19 news, US colleges and universities are scrambling to return students studying overseas for the semester — especially in Italy.
Some American schools — Syracuse University, Fairfield University, Elon University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, Sacred Heart and the University of New Haven — have canceled programs abroad in Italy due to growing number of cases.
Expect many more to react in the coming days before an travel ban is imposed on Italy.