Trump puts Vice President Mike Pence in charge of coronavirus response, says nation is ‘very ready’

President Trump on Wednesday appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead the White House response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a news conference with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Trump said the “risk remains really low” and “we’re very, very ready for this.”

There are 81,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with nearly 3,000 deaths.

There have been 15 confirmed infections in the United States.

“We have quarantined those infected and those at risk,” Trump said, adding that he would let Congress decide how much emergency funding to spend on minimizing the spread of the flu-like virus in the U.S.

Trump’s briefing came after he faced criticism from Democrats and some Republicans who said he was downplaying the coronavirus threat and not doing enough to protect Americans.

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