HHS Secretary: Coronavirus Risk Remains ‘Low’ In US

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Noah Adamitis Associate Editor
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Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Sunday that the average American remains at “low” risk for the coronavirus and said it’s still unknown how the Washington person who died over the weekend contracted the virus.

Appearing on “Face the Nation,” Azar was asked by host Margaret Brennan about the first confirmed coronavirus death in America.

“So we just had the first American death on U.S. soil out in Washington state. What do we know about how the virus was contracted and how much it has spread?” she asked. (RELATED: Wuhan Coronavirus Crisis Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down And Has Hit American Shores, Here Are The Details)

Azar expressed his sympathies for the family of the deceased and responded that it is still unknown how the disease was contracted in this case.

“We do not know how he contracted the virus yet. And so that’s why we and the state of Washington are deployed out there to try to trace who he had contact with and how he might have gotten the virus,” he said.

The host then asked about the numbers of infected people that the country should be prepared to handle, to which Azar responded that the risk to the average American remains “low,” because America has the “finest public health system in the world.”

He also stated that the government is taking “the most aggressive containment measures in the history of the United States,” and that testing for the disease will expand massively over the coming weeks.