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US News The Trump administration has barred the top US disease expert from speaking freely to the public after he warned the coronavirus may be impossible to contain

15:20  28 february  2020
15:20  28 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

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After weeks of denouncing “conspiracy theories” about the spread of coronavirus , US media and According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 59 Americans have While it may seem callous of Trump to be focusing on the markets rather than public health, keep in

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned this week that Americans should brace for the likelihood that the virus will spread to the United States. The more critical response may come from Congress and the Trump administration , which have done little thus far to script a fiscal response.

Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie © Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Donald Trump's administration has barred one of the top US experts on infectious diseases from speaking out about the coronavirus outbreak without explicit permission from the White House, The New York Times reported Thursday, in an apparent bid to stop contradictory messages about the public-health crisis.

In a Wednesday press conference, Trump announced that Vice President Mike Pence - who has faced criticism for his handling of an HIV outbreak as Indiana Governor - would lead US efforts to halt the spread of the illness, and that Pence would report directly to Trump.

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And among the first steps Pence took was to institute measures to coordinate messaging, which would require top officials to seek clearance before making public statements on the illness.

Mike Pence, Donald Trump are posing for a picture © REUTERS/Carlos Barria

One of those officials included Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He told associates that the White House "had instructed him not to say anything else without clearance," The Times wrote.

The NIAID did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment on the report.

Fauci has led the NIAID - a federal agency focused on researching infectious diseases - since 1984, and has a key role in coordinating efforts on global health issues, according to the agency's website.

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"Health officials are warning the public to prepare for a potential global pandemic." But Trump has for years now attempted to cut funding to the Centers for Disease Control The administration also asked for over million in cuts to the Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases program."

The hospital has been treating one other confirmed case of coronavirus , though the other patient contracted the disease through travel after returning to the US from However, the email said some staff members had been warned to go into isolation and to stay vigilant to any developing symptoms.

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He has also advised six presidents on domestic and global health issues such as HIV/AIDS.

His public remarks on the coronavirus in recent days have struck a markedly different tone from those delivered by Trump, who has played down the likely impact of the illness and is reportedly concerned that negative messages from public officials will spook financial markets.

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Fauci warned that travel restrictions, such as those introduced by the Trump administration for some visitors from China, would become "irrelevant" if the coronavirus becomes a pandemic because "you can't keep out the entire world."

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Trump acknowledged coronavirus had played a role, but he also said investors' fears of a Democrat winning the presidency this year had contributed, too. " We have always been clear that number one that could change rapidly, and from the outset I and the public health experts said we fully expect

Diseases near the top of the chart are much deadlier than those in the middle. Pathogens can still be very dangerous even if their fatality rate is low, Dr. McGeer said. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the new coronavirus has an incubation period of 2 to 14 days.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Anthony S. Fauci, Barack Obama standing in a room © Thomson Reuters

He also told CNN last week that the world is on the brink of a coronavirus pandemic.

Trump on Wednesday said the US is "rapidly developing a vaccine" for coronavirus and "will essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner." But in an interview with Fox News Tuesday, Fauci had said the process of developing a vaccine could take up to a year and a half.

"Even though we are going as fast as you possibly can, it's still going to take a good year, year and a half to see if we have a vaccine that works," he said.

Health and national-security experts have criticized the Trump administration for stopping one of its top public health officials from speaking freely during one of the worst public-health crises in years.

Gallery: Coronavirus outbreak (Photos)

Ned Price, a top National Security Council aide under the Obama administration, tweeted Thursday: "During the Ebola outbreak, we couldn't get enough of @NIH's Dr. Fauci because no one knew more or could deliver it with more authority or experience. Muzzling Dr. Fauci is an effort to muzzle fact and science when it's needed most."

"Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama trusted Tony Fauci to be their top adviser on infectious disease, and the nation's most trusted communicator to the public," Ronald Klain, who led the Obama administration's response to the 2014 Ebola crisis, also said.

"If Trump is changing that, it is a threat to public health and safety."

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