Some Experts Worry as a Germ-Phobic Trump Confronts a Growing Epidemic

At the end of January, Mr. Trump created a 12-member coronavirus task force, which will be managed by the National Security Council. It includes the health and human services secretary, Alex M. Azar II; Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health; and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Updated Feb.10, 2020

    • Twelve cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the United States, including a 35-year-old man in Washington State, a couple in their 60s in Chicago and six people in California. If you live in California, here’s what this means for you.
    • Pittsburgh, Wuhan’s “sister city,” has been shaken by the outbreak and is sending aid to relatives and friends trapped in the center of a deadly outbreak.
    • Hundreds of Americans evacuated from Wuhan arrived on military bases, where they were expected to remain in quarantine for days.
    • Hundreds of Americans who recently traveled to China are isolating themselves in ‘self quarantines’ for 14 days.
    • There was a race to contain the disease after one man’s cough became confirmation of America’s first case.
    • A high school exchange student may have been among the last Americans to arrive home in time to avoid the mandated quarantine.
    • Mask hoarders may increase the risk of an outbreak in the U.S. Health care workers risk infection if they cannot get the protective gear.
    • Most experts agree: To protect yourself wash your hands and avoid touching your face.
    • Affected by travel? Or do you know someone who is? Please contact us at if you are willing to be contacted by a reporter or have your comments used for a coming story.

All three have experience dealing with infectious diseases, especially Mr. Fauci, who has helped to manage the response to numerous outbreaks, including the AIDS epidemic, the SARS virus and Ebola.

In many of his remarks he has made, Mr. Trump has praised President Xi Jinping of China, even though his government has been widely criticized for a clumsy and initially secretive response to the coronavirus, and made some questionable announcements.

“They’re working really hard, and I think they’re doing a very professional job,” Mr. Trump said on Friday.

Speaking to a meeting of the nation’s governors on Monday, he predicted that the virus will have run its course by spring and again referred to the Chinese president.

“The virus that we’re talking about having to do, a lot of people think that goes away in April, with the heat, as the heat comes in, typically that will go away in April,” Mr. Trump said. Referring to the United States, he added: “We’re in great shape, though. We have 12 cases, 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.” (The number of confirmed cases is 12, according to a Monday update by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

“I had a long talk with President Xi two nights ago,” he added. “He feels very confident. He feels that again, as I mentioned, by April or during the month of April, the heat generally speaking kills this kind of virus. So that would be a good thing.”

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