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Secretary Alex Azar says HHS is ‘ramping up’ testing for coronavirus – ABC News


Secretary Alex Azar says HHS is ‘ramping up’ testing for coronavirus – ABC News

Trump confirmed the first coronavirus-linked death in the U.S. Saturday.March 1, 2020, 4:31 PM8 min read As the Trump administration anticipates the further spread of the novel coronavirus, the Department of Health and Human Services secretary said on ABC’s “This Week” that it was “ramping up” testing for the virus. “I think it’s very important…

Secretary Alex Azar says HHS is ‘ramping up’ testing for coronavirus – ABC News

Trump verified the first coronavirus-linked death in the U.S. Saturday.

March 1, 2020, 4: 31 PM

8 minutes read

As the Trump administration prepares for the further spread of the novel coronavirus, the Department of Health and Person Solutions secretary said on ABC’s “Today” that it was “ramping up” testing for the virus.

” I believe it’s extremely important that we treat the American people like grownups and explain to them that we do not understand where this will go, that we will see more cases, that we will see ongoing community spreading in the United States, as we’re seeing all over the world,” Secretary Alex Azar stated on Sunday.

” How huge that gets, we do not know,” he included. “But we have the most sophisticated public health system and security system on the planet. We are actively dealing with a vaccine. We are actively dealing with rehabs, the diagnostic is out in the field.”

In an earlier interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, previous Vice President Joe Biden blasted the Trump administration’s reaction to the coronavirus, implicating the president of “incompetence,” in the face of the virus’ risk.

” And, look, today you have this president– hasn’t permitted his researchers to speak– number one. He has the vice president speaking, not the scientists who know what they’re speaking about, like (National Institutes of Health Dr. Anthony) Fauci,” Biden stated on “Today” Sunday. “Number 2, they have not even prepared a test package to determine whether or not anybody has the infection. They’re not even available. They say now they’ll be readily available in– in– by the end of the week or next week. They have not established a pattern in how to proceed.”

Azar stated on Sunday that President Donald Trump was describing the “partisan sniping” when he referred to the coronavirus as the Democrats’ “new hoax” at a Friday rally

” It’s unneeded, we don’t need to have this made a political concern,” Azar stated. “We’re in a public health crisis here– we all require to be collaborating.”

Azar also stated in action to Biden that testing for the coronavirus would increase “significantly over the next number of weeks.”.

” I’m not sure what he meant when he stated there is no laboratory package,” he included.

Azar said the Centers for Disease Control and Avoidance established a test with “historical speed” which the U.S. has actually evaluated 3,600 individuals and that 75,000 more tests will be readily available.

Health experts have kept in mind, nevertheless, that other nations, such as South Korea– which have discovered massive outbreaks– have actually been much more aggressive. Since recently, South Korea performed more than 70,000 tests and since Sunday morning, there had been 3,736 confirmed cases and 18 deaths.

Azar likewise dismissed concerns over whether the screening requirements has actually been too limited. A little over a week earlier, 6 cities started evaluating for coronavirus when they checked for the influenza. Azar stated he wanted to expand that practice nationwide and plans to do so as quickly as Congress authorizes the additional financing.

The HHS secretary highlighted that the danger to the majority of Americans stays low. Presently, there are at least 69 cases in the U.S., 22 of which were initially discovered in the nation.

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Worldwide, in at least 60 nations, there have been over 87,000 cases of COVID-19 and practically 3,000 people have passed away.

On Saturday, Trump validated the first U.S. death linked to the coronavirus in Washington state. The victim was identified by the CDC as a male in his 50 s.

Vice President Mike Pence announced on Saturday that the U.S. would be adding extra travel limitations on Iran, which has had 978 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 54 deaths. The restrictions would restrict any foreign national who as gone to Iran in the last 14 days from going into the U.S.

Earlier this month, Azar revealed restrictions on travel from China associated to the virus. Those restrictions deny entry to any foreign national who was not the immediate family member of a U.S. resident and had traveled to China in the previous 14 days.

Pence, who is leading the federal government’s coronavirus reaction, likewise revealed that the State Department would issue the highest level travel advisory for regions of Italy and South Korea that have outbreaks of the virus.

ABC News’ Anne Flaherty and Molly Nagle added to this report.

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