Health Care

National security adviser: No reason for Americans to panic over coronavirus


White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday that there’s no reason for Americans to panic about the new deadly coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. 

“There’s no reason for Americans to panic,” O’Brien said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“This is something that is a low risk, we think, in the U.S. But President Trump, from the day he took office, made protecting Americans and keeping them safe, whether it’s from terrorists or criminal organizations or from viruses like the new novel coronavirus is top priority. So we’re taking steps to keep Americans safe and the government is functioning in that direction.”

O’Brien also said Chinese authorities have been “more transparent” than in past crises. 

He added that the administration has not yet heard back from Chinese officials on an offer to send U.S. health officials to China. 

“What would their role be and why is China saying no?” CBS’s Margaret Brennan asked

“We’ve got a very, probably the top, public health officials in the world … we’ve got tremendous expertise. We’ve got the greatest medical system in the world,” O’Brien responded. 

“This is a worldwide concern. We want to help our Chinese colleagues if we can,” he added.

Eight cases have been confirmed in the U.S., including one confirmed person-to-person transmission of the virus in Illinois. 

Tags China Coronavirus Donald Trump Robert O'Brien

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