Trump appoints Pence to oversee response to coronavirus

US President says number one priority is to protect American people from coronavirus.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Mike Pence and Donald Trump
Mike Pence and Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that Vice President Mike Pence would lead the administration’s coronavirus response.

Trump’s comments in the White House briefing room sought to change the course on what Democrats said was an inadequate response to the coronavirus, which has spread quickly across the globe.

“The number one priority from our standpoint is the health and safety of the American people,” said Trump, according to The Hill.

“We are ready to adapt if we have to, as the disease spreads, if it spreads,” Trump added. “We’re very, very ready for this.”

Though officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had told lawmakers and reporters on Tuesday that the spread of the disease in the US is inevitable, Trump suggested otherwise and said, “I don’t think it’s inevitable. It could be at a very small level.”

“Whatever happens, we’re totally prepared, we have the best people in the world. … It’s going to be very well under control,” he added.

Pence said his role would be to work with the task force to bring the “best options for action” to the president and to “see to the safety and well-being and health of the American people.”

Lawmakers from both parties have expressed concern that the administration’s $2.5 billion emergency funding request is too low, but there’s not yet agreement on just how much is needed.

Trump said Wednesday he would be happy to take however much money Congress decides to give him.