Just days after President Donald Trump acted nonchalant about the potential spread of the coronavirus in the United States, the director of the CDC contradicted his statements, making the case that the virus was going to be here for quite some time.
Trump on Monday said with quite a bit of confidence that he believed the virus would die out, due to warmer spring temperatures, and that it wouldn’t be a big deal beyond this April.
“A lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat. Typically that will go away in April. We’re in great shape, though,” Trump said to reporters earlier this week.
Many experts said Trump’s lackadaisical concern over the matter was worrisome. On Thursday, in an interview with CNN, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield explained that the virus was not something that was simply going to go away so quickly.
Looking at Redfield’s words from the interview, it appears that Trump’s confidence is misplaced.
“We don’t know a lot about this virus,” Redfield said. “This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission.”
As the coronavirus outbreak has swept through Hubei province in China, the CDC has been preparing for its worst case scenario — a widespread outbreak of illnesses in the US. @drsanjaygupta reports.https://t.co/LWDtS58pNf pic.twitter.com/2NHhBoRNhs
— New Day (@NewDay) February 14, 2020
At least 15 cases of coronavirus have been identified in the United States. In China, where the virus apparently began, there have been nearly 65,000 individuals infect, according to the latest updates from Al Jazeera, with close to 1,400 deaths reported so far.
It’s only a matter of time before the coronavirus spreads elsewhere, including the United States, Redfield implied in his comments. Its presence could last well-beyond April — and well beyond this calendar year.
“This virus will become a community virus at some point in time, this year or next year,” Redfield explained.