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.
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.”