VP Pence Meets With Gov. DeSantis to Discuss Florida Coronavirus Plan

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Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Florida and met with Gov. Ron DeSantis Friday to discuss the state's plan to deal with a possible coronavirus outbreak.

Pence, who President Donald Trump tasked with coordinating the government's response to the virus, held a news conference with DeSantis in Palm Beach County to discuss how the feds will be working with states on coronavirus response.

"I can assure you that we are going to work very closely with Florida and states across this country," Pence said. "We're going to make sure that states like Florida, and your local health officials, have the resources to be able to be prepared for any eventuality and in the event that this virus spreads more broadly that the states are able to be compensated for your efforts."

There remain no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida, but 60 have been confirmed in the United States, according to the CDC. More than 80,000 people have been infected by the virus globally, with many of those cases in China.

The World Health Organization said Friday that the risk of the virus spreading worldwide was "very high."

"According to our health experts, the threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S. remains low," Pence said. "Our objective is to be ready, this is an all hands on deck effort, and we're not only going to make sure that the resources are there but that the president has the broadest range of options presented for him to keep the American people safe from this virus."

DeSantis, who spoke about the state's preparations for the virus on Thursday, spoke briefly Friday about how the state is continuing to prepare. He spoke about making sure there are enough supplies, including masks, and about possibly helping those who might have to deal with missing work to be in self-isolation with their loss of income.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank nearly 1,200 points Thursday, deepening a weeklong global market rout caused by worries that the coronavirus outbreak will wreak havoc on the global economy.

The governor also spoke about how the state has been conducting testing, after officials confirmed they are sending potential cases to the CDC but wouldn't confirm if any suspected cases have been investigated in Florida.

"We've been able to manage it, everything goes to the CDC and back. But to extent this becomes more of a problem, we want to be able to do local testing and I know they're working on that," DeSantis said.

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