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Anxiety rises in China, abroad as virus spreads


President Trump said Wednesday that he had been briefed on the outbreak of a new virus from China and that the United States had the situation “totally under control.”

Trump was asked about the new coronavirus in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, one day after the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first U.S. case of the virus in Washington state.

Trump said he was “not at all” concerned about the possibility of a pandemic.

“We have it totally under control,” Trump told CNBC. “It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control.”

“It’s going to be fine,” the president continued.

Trump also said the U.S. had a plan to tackle the virus when asked separately about the new virus, which first broke out in Wuhan, China, last month, during a bilateral meeting with Kurdistan Regional Government President Nechirvan Barzani on Wednesday in Davos.

“We do have a plan, and we think it’s going to be handled very well,” the president told reporters. “I think China’s in very good shape also.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday that it had confirmed the first case of the coronavirus in Washington state. The patient, who has not been identified, returned from the U.S. from China earlier this month. The CDC said it has been “proactively preparing” for the possibility the virus could spread to the U.S. for weeks.

The president’s remarks on Wednesday marked his first on the respiratory virus, which has infected nearly 300 people in China and killed six people there. The virus has also broken out at a time of high domestic travel in China during the Lunar New Year.

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