"We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad," a CDC official said.
Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said "We really want to prepare the American public for the possibility that their lives will be disrupted because of this pandemic."
She added that COVID-19, the escalating viral outbreak that started in Wuhan, China will definitely spread to the United States. "It's not a question of if this will happen but when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses."
Now is the time for US businesses, hospitals, and communities to begin preparing for the possible spread of #COVID19. CDC continues to work with business, education & healthcare sectors, encouraging employers to be prepared. Learn more: https://t.co/OUYvMhdIaS.— CDC (@CDCgov) February 25, 2020
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been 80,238 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 34 countries so far, and it has caused at least 2,700 deaths.
South Korea confirmed 144 more cases, which brings the total to - 977 persons who have been confirmed to have the disease, and 10 deaths have been reported.
Italy, the epicentre of Europe’s outbreak saw a 45 percent one-day increase in cases, where the death toll rose to 11 amid 322 confirmed infections.
In Iran where an opposition lawmaker and the deputy health minister were among 95 people who’ve tested positive for the virus, at least 15 deaths have been reported.
On Monday, the White House sent to the United States Congress its US$2.5 billion supplemental budget proposal to fight Covid-19.
“Today, the Administration is transmitting to Congress a US$2.5 billion supplemental funding plan to accelerate vaccine development, support preparedness and response activities and to procure much-needed equipment and supplies,” Rachel Semmel, a spokeswoman for the White House Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement.
According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, over US$1 billion dollars will be used for vaccine development, and the other funds will be spent on supporting preparedness and response activities as well as procuring needed equipment and supplies.
The funding request is much smaller than the U.S. response in 2014 to the Ebola outbreak when a US$6.2 billion budget was requested by the administration of Barack Obama.
U.S. biotech company Moderna announced on Monday that it has shipped its first batch of novel coronavirus vaccine to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for further research.
Vials of mRNA-1273 have been shipped to the NIAID to be used by government researchers in what is known as a Phase 1 Study at the National Institutes of Health, according to the Cambridge-based company.
Moderna, in cooperation with investigators at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center, used a molecule called mRNA that transfers genetic information into cells, mimicking a natural infection to stimulate a more potent immune response.
The vaccine could mimic the spike protein found on the novel coronavirus and other coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
- Countries: United_States
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