President Trump has launched a task force to monitor and prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has claimed more than 170 lives in China and spread to multiple countries, the White House announced late Wednesday. The task force, led by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, will be in charge of “efforts to monitor, contain, and mitigate the spread of the virus” while also keeping Americans informed on the matter, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. News of the task force’s formation comes after nearly 200 Americans were evacuated from Wuhan, the city in China’s Hubei province considered to be the epicenter of the outbreak. The evacuees arrived back to the U.S. but will be monitored for three days to ensure they have no symptoms of the virus. The U.S. has so far confirmed five cases of the virus, though dozens of suspected cases have been reported. Of the confirmed cases, two were in California, one in Illinois, one in Washington state, and one in Arizona, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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