White House works to combat coronavirus with testing, quarantine efforts

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – The White House strategy to combat the coronavirus has shifted to limiting its effects, as officials say further spread is inevitable. 

“We need to be focused on local community efforts to slow the spread,” Secretary Alex Azar, Health and Human Services, said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says it’s clear the coronavirus has established a foothold in the US. 

“We will see community transmission in the United States. We’ll see more cases, and the testing will illuminate that,” Azar said.

Azar says there will be more confirmed cases as millions of coronavirus tests are put into use this week. 

He says the federal government will work directly with local and state authorities on testing and quarantine efforts.

Including isolating the 2,500 people on board the Grand Princess cruise ship.

“Advising on various mitigation measures, such as whether you close schools, public transportation, large gatherings,” Azar said. 

But Senator Chuck Schumer says health officials are playing catch-up because the Trump Administration mishandled coronavirus testing early on. 

“Because we don’t have a complete handle on testing many of our doctors, researchers and public health officials are flying blind,” Senator Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said. 

Without accurate information, Schumer says ultimately the US is at a disadvantage in combating the virus.

“We need President Trump to lead our government’s response to the coronavirus competently and consistently. We’re all rooting for that,” Schumer said. 

Vice President Pence held a conference call with governors Monday morning and continues to meet daily with the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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