February 27, 2020 / 8:36 PM / in a month

Pence says virus poses low-level threat in U.S., working with Congress on spending bill

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is seated with Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar; Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin as he leads a coronavirus task force meeting at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday the threat from coronavirus to the American public remains low, and the White House has begun discussions with leaders of the U.S. Congress on a supplemental spending bill to fighting the spread of the deadly infectious disease.

“Our best estimate is that the threat to the American public... remains low,” Pence said. “In the days ahead we’re going to make sure that the full resources of the federal government continue to be brought to bear in confronting the coronavirus here at home.”

Pence also said that he is leading the White House’s task force on addressing the deadly disease and will rely on Health Secretary Alex Azar as its chairman.

Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Chris Reese

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