President Trump criticized congressional Democrats anew on Wednesday over the political warfare surrounding coronavirus, tweeting that the virus “doesn’t care what party you are in” and that he is "fully prepared to use the full power" of the government to handle the outbreak.
“Someone needs to tell the Democrats in Congress that CoronaVirus doesn’t care what party you are in. We need to protect ALL Americans!” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Together we are putting into policy a plan to prevent, detect, treat and create a vaccine against CoronaVirus to save lives in America and the world. America will get it done!”
He added: “America is the Greatest Country in the world. We have the best scientists, doctors, nurses and health care professionals. They are amazing people who do phenomenal things every day.
“We have the greatest healthcare system, experts, scientists and doctors anywhere in the world. Together, we will PREVAIL!”
The president went on to thank “all of our Great Government officials on the CoronaVirus Task Force who are working around the clock, in response to the CoronaVirus,” and recommended regular checks of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for “updates and [to] follow all recommendations that are available.”
"I am fully prepared to use the full power of the Federal Government to deal with our current challenge of the CoronaVirus!" Trump declared Wednesday afternoon.
The president’s tweets come hours after the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak a global “pandemic.”
The organization said there are now more than 118,000 cases of COVID-19 in 114 countries, with 4,291 deaths, and warned that in the days and weeks ahead, they expect to see the number of cases and deaths “climb even higher.”
“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday. “We have rung the bell loud and clear.”
He stressed that there is still an opportunity for countries to reverse the course of the outbreak if they work to contain the spread.
The president appointed Vice President Pence to lead the Coronavirus Task Force, which has been providing daily press briefings and sharing information on the Trump administration’s new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 across the nation.
On Tuesday, Pence announced that insurance companies agreed to waive all copays on coronavirus testing and treatment amid the threat. Pence also announced that more than 4 million tests would be disbursed across the country by the end of the week.
Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Seema Varna also announced Tuesday that the administration has also removed “prior authorization requirements” for Medicare and Medicaid recipients and would “waive prescription refill limits and expand more access.”
But even as the administration works with governors of states across the nation and attempts to handle the outbreak, the president has downplayed the threat of the virus, reminding that the “common flu” kills thousands of Americans each year and that ‘life & the economy go on.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, during the 2018-2019 flu season, an estimated 35.5 million people were sick with influenza, and approximately 34,200 people died from the illness.
The coronavirus is believed to have originated at an animal and seafood market in the city of Wuhan, China. The illness is transferable between humans. Most coronaviruses cause mild symptoms that patients easily recover from. Other strains of the virus – such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) – can cause pneumonia and possible death.
As of Wednesday morning, there were more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus in the United States, in 39 states, including Washington, D.C. The U.S. has, so far, seen 30 coronavirus-related deaths.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.