CORONA VIRUS SPREAD IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
C.D.C. Officials Warn of Coronavirus Outbreaks in the U.S.
Clusters of infection are likely in American communities, health officials said. Some lawmakers questioned whether the nation is prepared.
CORONA VIRUS SPREAD TABLE:
|REGION||CONFIRMED CASES||DEATHS||C.D.C. RISK LEVEL|
|South Korea||1,595||12||Avoid travel|
|Hong Kong||91||2||Be careful|
|United Arab Emirates||13||0|
The coronavirus is not believed to currently be spreading in the United States. But C.D.C. officials warned on Tuesday that future outbreaks are almost inevitable, given the number of cases around the world.
Sixty people are infected, almost all of whom traveled from Asia. One person in California tested positive for the virus despite having no known connection to previous cases, the C.D.C. announced on Wednesday.
In Iran, a spike in coronavirus infections — including to the top health official in charge of fighting the disease — has prompted fears the contagion may spread throughout the Middle East. In Italy, one of Europe’s largest economies, officials are struggling to prevent the epidemic from paralyzing the commercial center of Milan.
Keenly aware that the virus has the potential to wreak havoc in the United States, lawmakers from both the Democratic and the Republican parties grilled Mr. Azar and other members of the administration at the Senate hearing, apparently unconvinced that the Trump administration was prepared for the outbreak that the C.D.C. is forecasting.
Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, grew exasperated when the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad F. Wolf, could not say how many people were expected to become infected.
“I’m all for committees and task forces, but you’re the secretary,” Mr. Kennedy responded. “I think you ought to know that answer.”
The administration officials overseeing the response to a coronavirus outbreak told lawmakers that the initial funding requested by the White House — $1.25 billion in new funds and $1.25 billion taken from other programs — would most likely be just a first round.
Mr. Azar said that there were 30 million N95 masks, respirators best suited to guarding against viruses that typically cost less than $1 apiece, in the nation’s emergency stockpile.
CORONA VIRUS ON CHINA ECONOMY :
Lívio Ribeiro, an economist at Fundação Getúlio Vargas University who studies China, said he expected the fallout in Latin America from the coronavirus will be greater than that of the 2003 SARS outbreak, which also originated in China.
Several of the leading economies in the region had been growing sluggishly, if at all, even before the coronavirus scare.
The precise dimensions of the outbreak are hard to know, especially in China, which has changed its definition of a “confirmed” case several times. Not all infected people have received a diagnosis, and some countries, like Singapore and the United States, have more proactive testing and containment efforts than others do.