The White House vehemently overruled health officials over language in recommending that elderly and physically fragile Americans not fly commercial airlines over fears of the novel coronavirus. The Associated Press, quoting a federal official, reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had submitted a plan to try to control the spread of the potentially deadly disease, but White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation to be removed. Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the Trump administration efforts to prepare for an epidemic, disputed the claim, saying advising elderly people not to travel “was never a recommendation to the Task Force.” On Saturday, Pence instead changed the message. “If you’re a senior citizen with a serious underlying health condition, this would be a good time to practice common sense and to avoid activities including traveling on a cruise line,” Pence said.
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