White House Chief of Staff: Expect Disruptions To Schools, Transportation Due To Coronavirus

Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, speaks during a discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. President Trump will address this years CPAC after seeking to close ranks within his administration about the threat posed by the coronavirus and how the U.S. government plans to stop its spread following mixed messages that rattled Wall Street. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney suggested Friday that Americans should expect that there will be some disruptions to schools and transportation as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, but expressed confidence that the U.S. is well-prepared to handle the situation.

Amid reports that over 8,000 people in California and several hundred in New York are being monitored for potential infection, Mulvaney addressed the issue of the virus’s spread during an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Fort Washington, Maryland on Friday.

“Are you going to see some schools shut down? Probably. Maybe see impacts on public transportation? Sure,” Mulvaney said during the event, as reported by Bloomberg Quint. “But we do this,” he stressed. “We know how to handle this.”

Addressing the impact of the epidemic on the financial sector, Mulvaney added, “Really, what I’d like to do today to calm the markets is tell people to turn their televisions off for 24 hours.”

Bloomberg notes that Mulvaney’s comments “indicate that the administration is planning for potentially bigger disruptions.”

“He spoke a day after stock markets plunged the most since 2011 over concerns that the coronavirus outbreak would continue to spread and drag down the global economy,” the outlet reports. “There are now more than 83,000 cases of the virus worldwide, with infections spreading in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Germany.”

Mulvaney’s confidence in the U.S. response to the epidemic is an echo of President Trump’s repeated assurances that the federal government is on top of the issue, as he underscored in a press conference Wednesday.

“Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low,” Trump said, in part referencing his decision to shut down flights from high-risk areas. “…We’re ready to adapt and we’re ready to do whatever we have to as the disease spreads, if it spreads.”

As The Daily Wire reported Thursday, over 9,000 people are currently being monitored in the U.S. for potential infection, including over 8,000 in California and another 700 in New York.

The number of monitored cases in California dwarfs all other states. “California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and the state is currently monitoring at least 8,400 others —a day after U.S. health officials confirmed the first possible community transmission of the coronavirus in a Solano County resident,” CNBC reported.

CBS New York reported Thursday that New York state’s health department revealed that “700 people in the state have been asked to voluntarily self-isolate for two weeks.” None of those cases are in New York City, the outlet notes; nonetheless, city officials are preparing for a potential outbreak.

“Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio joined New York City health officials to outline a plan of action once the virus shows up in the city,” CBS 2 reports. “As of Wednesday, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city. All those who were in quarantine have been released – but that’s expected to change. And once it does, city leaders say they’re ready, but could use more help from the federal government.”

Related: California, New York Reportedly Monitoring Over 9,000 People For Coronavirus