Coronavirus transmission: Scientists need basic answers

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar arrives for the start of a Senate Finance Committee hearing on March 14, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Our current assessment is that the immediate health risk of this new virus to the general public is low in our nation,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told a group of reporters about the coronavirus at a news conference Tuesday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar held a joint press conference with directors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. All four officials emphasized the point that while little is yet known about the novel virus they felt there was no reason for the American public to worry.

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