(NBC News) State governments are ramping up preparations to battle the coronavirus amid conflicting signals from health officials over whether it’s already spreading across the country.
The virus is sweeping other parts of the world, with Disneyland shutting down in Tokyo and Olympics officials there considering scaling down the torch relay.
Meanwhile, Wall Street in its seventh day of a massive sell-off, as the Trump administration accuses its critics of being alarmist.
The New York Times is reporting top health officials have been instructed not to speak on the topic without clearance from the White House.
President Trump said Thursday he believes the threat the virus poses to Americans is low.
“It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,” Mr. Trump said.
His comments came amid new questions about what may be the first U.S. case of “community spread,” a woman in Northern California now on a ventilator after contracting the disease without the risk factors of travel or close contact with a known patient.
“This is probably the tip of the iceberg,” says infectious disease expert Dr. Dean Blumberg. “There’s probably other patients who are getting this disease who are more mildly affected.”
The patient lives in the same county as Travis Air Force Base, where hundreds of Americans were taken for quarantine. A new whistleblower complaint obtained by the New York Times claims some federal workers greeting those evacuees didn’t have the right training or safety equipment.
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