Across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed at least 227 novel coronavirus cases — though health officials say the true number is likely far higher due to a severe shortage of test kits in the U.S. Maryland declared a state of emergency Thursday after three Montgomery County residents became infected. There are also states of emergency in effect in California and Washington, where a 12th U.S. death was reported in King County on Thursday. Public health officials have recommended more than 2 million people in and around Seattle work from home, if possible.
The advice came despite President Trump’s remarks on Fox News Wednesday night, when he seemed to dismiss the idea that people who are feeling ill should stay out of the workplace.
President Donald Trump: “If, you know, we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”
After the president’s comments sparked alarm among public health officials, Trump lashed out on Twitter, writing, “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work. This is just more Fake News and disinformation put out by the Democrats.”
This morning the White House canceled Trump’s planned trip to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. No reason for the cancellation was given. Trump is expected to sign an $8.3 billion coronavirus spending bill approved by the Senate yesterday.