Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Trump puts Pence in charge of coronavirus response

President Trump delivered a briefing on the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday evening, telling Americans that the "risk remains really low" and "we're very, very ready for this."

Trump also announced that Vice President Mike Pence will lead the government's response to the coronavirus. During Pence's time as governor of Indiana, the state reported the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United States, and Trump said he has "a certain talent" for dealing with health emergencies.

There are 81,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and nearly 3,000 people have died from it. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to prepare for an outbreak in the United States. The White House has asked Congress for $1.8 billion to fight coronavirus, with Democrats saying more is needed. Trump said he hopes "we're not going to have to spend so much," and he'll be "satisfied" with whatever amount is received.

Trump also brought up the flu, saying he was surprised to learn that "the flu in our country kills from 25,000 people to 69,000 people a year. That was shocking to me, and so far if you look at what we have with the 15 people, they're recovering. One is pretty sick but will hopefully recover, but the others are in great shape." The CDC said there are 60 cases in the United States, not 15.