Great Britain

World Health Organization official lashes out at Donald Trump’s ‘incoherent & ignorant’ coronavirus response

A TOP WHO adviser blasted Trump's "ignorant" and "incoherent" remarks during a news conference on the administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Special adviser to the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Ezekiel Emanuel, said on MSNBC's Hardball, that Trump's comments indicated how little the president knew about public health.

The former US government health policy adviser stressed that health officials still do not know vital information about the virus, which has 60 confirmed cases in the US and over 82,500 worldwide.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and international health bodies, as well as some world leaders, are now warning that an outbreak in the U.S. is "inevitable" and that the world is "on the brink of a pandemic".

Pointing to Trump's admission that he was shocked by the number of people who die from the common flu annually Dr Emanuel said: "I found most of what he said a little incoherent,

"[Trump's] a guy that admitted that he’s surprised that 25,000 to 69,000 people each year die of the flu.

"That just tells you how little he actually knows about public health and about the health of the American public.

"He just revealed how ignorant he is about the situation. We don’t know how similar or dissimilar this is to the flu.

"We know one thing. It is actually more communicable than the flu. It passes between people very, very easily."

Lawmakers dubbed Trump's emergency funding request of $2.5bn las night as insufficient, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer estimating that $8.5bn would be needed.

In spite of Trump's response to the coronavirus threat, White House officials appear to be burying their heads in the sand.

During the conference Trump said that the U.S. is "ready to adapt" if the disease spread, emphasizing, “we’re very, very ready for this”.

He then continually contradicted the CDC, saying that he did not think the virus's spread was "inevitable".

Economic adviser Larry Kudlow claimed on Tuesday that the virus was "contained" just hours after a top CDC official said the disease could disrupt life in a severe way, according to The Hill.

The CDC’s Anne Schuchat said at Wednesday's press conference that the "trajectory" for the coronavirus in the U.S. remains "very uncertain," adding that now was the time for businesses and schools to look into "pandemic preparedness plans."

WHO announced Wednesday that more new cases were being reported outside of China than in it, the first time that has happened since the outbreak began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

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