President Trump on Tuesday said the United States is “very close to a vaccine” for the coronavirus that is sweeping the globe.
In a press conference in India, Trump also defended his administration’s decision to repatriate nearly two dozen Americans on a cruise ship who are suffering from the illness.
“I felt that we should bring them back, they’re Americans, we should bring them back,” Trump said.
“As far as what we’re doing with the new virus, I think that we’re doing a great job. I felt that — and the decision was made in Japan, let these Americans come back and we will see — but they were immediately put into quarantine. There is no problem whatsoever with quarantine.”
“I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away,” Trump said about the outbreak of coronavirus, known as COVID-19. “Now they have studied it, they know very much. … In fact, we are very close to a vaccine,” he said.
The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has now topped 50, including the former passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Worldwide, more than 2,700 people have died from the virus and more than 80,000 are infected.
At his press conference, Trump also touted a $2.5 billion spending plan that his administration sent to Congress.
Trump said on Monday that the epidemic is under control in the United States.
“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” Trump wrote on Twitter, where he is on a two-day state visit.
The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020
The White House is preparing to request emergency funding from Congress in order to address coronavirus, which has suddenly spread at an alarming rate across the world.
“We need some funding here to make sure that we protect all Americans,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Monday on Fox News. Gidley did not say how much funding would be requested.
In India, Trump also said China appears to be getting control of the virus.
“They’ve had a rough patch and … it looks like they’re getting it under control more and more,” Trump said. “They’re getting it more and more under control so I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away, but we lost almost 1,000 points yesterday on the (stock) market.”