CDC Warns Americans To Begin Preparing For Coronavirus Outbreak

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CDC officials said they expect the coronavirus to spread locally in the U.S., leading to significant disruptions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Tuesday that Americans could see an outbreak of the coronavirus at home and should prepare for potentially significant disruptions to daily life, according to Bloomberg News.

Such disruptions would include “school closings, cancellations of sporting events, concerts and business meetings if the coronavirus spreads in the U.S.” the news outlet reported.

“We expect we will see community spread in this country,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters, adding: “It is not a matter of if, but a question of when, this will exactly happen.”

Messonnier said the outbreak is “rapidly evolving and expanding,” warning that “now is the time” for preparations to begin at American schools, businesses and hospitals.

However, the White House was quick to downplay the CDC’s warning. President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, urged Americans to remain calm in the face of the warning.

“I think people should be as calm as possible in assessing this,” he said. “Emergency plans don’t necessarily mean they’ll have to be put into place.”

Kudlow added that the Trump administration has “contained” coronavirus cases in the U.S., though he would not go so far as to call the containment “airtight.”

Fewer than 20 cases of the disease have been diagnosed in the U.S. to date, Bloomberg noted, but the CDC expects the coronavirus to eventually spread locally.

New cases have been reported in Europe, with Italy’s number rising to 322, and Iran has now seen a total of 15 coronavirus deaths.

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