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McConnell on coronavirus: 'This is not a time for fear'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE (R-Ky.) called for calm Monday amid growing concerns about the coronavirus, reiterating that the risk of contracting the virus remains low. 

"This is not a time for fear. It is a time to continue calmly scaling up the serious and smart preparations that have already been underway so the United States can continue working to blunt, slow and mitigate the spread within our borders," McConnell said from the Senate floor. 

McConnell added that it was inevitable that the United States would have to combat the coronavirus but the questions were about “when and to what degree.”

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“All Americans should follow the recommendations of the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and their state and local authorities,” McConnell said. “Our great nation is very strong ... With calm and confidence, all Americans, all of us, should continue to listen to the experts."

His comments come amid deepening concerns about a growing outbreak of the coronavirus. 

There are 423 cases in the United States, spread out across 34 states and the District of Columbia, according to the CDC.

The growing number sparked a plunge in stock markets and is leading to a growing sense of anxiety on Capitol Hill where five lawmakers have self-quarantined after potentially coming into contact with infected people.

Some Senate Republicans, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates Republican senators urge Trump to dodge pardon controversies Grassley suggests moderate Democrats for next Agriculture secretary MORE (Iowa), are floating tax legislation or other stimulus packages to try boost the economy. 

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE (D-Calif.) shot down talk of closing the Capitol to try to provide a buffer for lawmakers.

“No. No, no, no, no. Do you understand, no?” she told reporters for CNN and NBC News.