Infectious Disease Director at University of Nebraska contradicts Trump: 'Diseases don’t respect political announcements'

Following President Trump’s press conference on the novel coronavirus that is spreading around the globe, Dr. Mark Rupp, director of infectious disease at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, joined Lou Dobbs Tonight where he contradicted Trump. The CDC has said the spread of the virus in the U.S. is inevitable, while Trump has repeatedly said otherwise. And on Wednesday, the president doubled down.

“Well, I don’t think it’s inevitable,” Trump said. “I probably will. I possibly will. It could be at a very small level. It could be at a larger level. Whatever happens, we’re totally prepared.”

Despite Trump downplaying the possibility of an outbreak, Rupp, who is currently working with infected patients evacuated from the quarantined Japanese cruise ship, is sticking by his fellow healthcare professionals.

“Well, the fact of the matter is that this virus has shown the ability to spread far and wide and fast, and that was clearly demonstrated in China,” Rupp said, later adding, “So I guess I would be of the opinion that we’re gonna see more of this. Hopefully we’ll be able to take measures to stem its spread and buy us some time so we can develop some therapeutics and a vaccine.”

Later, Rupp added, “Infectious diseases don’t respect political announcements or geographic borders. I think we will see spread here in the United States. It will test our resolve.”

Following Trump’s press conference, the first case of the disease in the U.S. with unknown origins was discovered in Northern California, and Rupp advises not to take the possible spread of the virus too lightly.

“This is still nothing to trifle with if you’re talking about a disease that spreads like the flu and has a mortality of somewhere less than one percent,” Rupp said, “this could be very impactful for the United States.”

Lou Dobbs Tonight airs weeknights at 7 p.m. on Fox Business.

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