8, March 2020
US President Donald Trump has signaled that he does not plan to stop campaign rallies in spite of the increasing number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Speaking on Saturday night at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump said his campaign events would continue even as a case was confirmed for the first time within miles of the White House.
“We will have tremendous rallies and we’re doing very well, and we’ve done a fantastic job with respect to that subject,” Trump said when asked whether there will be more “Keep America Great” campaign events.
Asked if he was worried about the first case of the coronavirus near the White House, the president said, “No, I’m not concerned at all.”
The remarks by Trump come as over half of all US states have reported cases of the coronavirus, with the number of Americans tested positive standing at around 425, according to a case count by Johns Hopkins.
So far, nineteen people have succumbed to the virus nationwide after two more died in Washington state.
A state of emergency was declared in New York on Saturday after the number of confirmed cases there rose to 89.
While visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Friday, Trump had warned about the quickly spreading coronavirus.
Hours later, however, Vice President Mike Pence walked back some of those comments, saying, “The president’s exactly right that for the state laboratories, for the communities that have been impacted, that have concerns about the coronavirus, we have been able to respond to requests for tests.”
Meanwhile, a leaked document published in media revealed US hospitals were preparing for a major coronavirus outbreak with unprecedented scale. The document estimates a death toll of 480,000 from 96 million coronavirus infections in the US.
According to media reports, hospitals and healthcare workers were already starting to feel the impact of the outbreak as it hits the cities across the US.