President Donald Trump still has no set plan to combat the spread of coronavirus, just hours before he is set to hold a hastily-called 6 PM Wednesday press conference. According to Politico, Trump haas yet to decide whether or not to install a coronavirus czar to coordinate efforts, similar to how the Obama administration successfully staved off the spread of Ebola in 2014.
"Officials are still debating whether such a role is necessary, but the global spread has increased the urgency to elevate its response, and the Trump White House is eager to appear like it’s in control of containing the virus within the United States," Politico adds.
The White House has floated former Trump FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb as one of several candidates to be named coronavirus czar, "but a senior administration official stressed that President Donald Trump will make the final call and has not yet made a decision about how to move forward."
Coronavirus was first officially identified December 1, 2019. According to the World Health Organization, as of Tuesday, there are 80,239 confirmed cases, including 908 new cases since the previous day.
The vast majority of confirmed cases are within China, including 2666 deaths. Outside of China there have been 34 deaths.
Reports state Trump is "furious" over the stock market drop Monday and Tuesday, and "unhappy" with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, after a CDC official briefed Congress and later told the America people "we expect we will see community spread in 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,” that CDC official, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, said. “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.”
The Trump administration has said little about the potential human cost, nor has it done much to message how Americans should prepare, and what steps they should take tom protect themselves and their families.
Trump has made clear he is not a fan of czars to coordinate the federal government's responses:
The new Ebola czar will report to the WH & NSA adviser Susan Rice. More mismanagement & duplicity with CDC. Obama is terrible executive.— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1413574322.0