Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday provided an update on the coronavirus outbreak amid the death toll in the United States rising to nine and the NCAA contemplating to not allow crowds at their men’s and women’s basketball tournaments to combat the spread of the virus.
Azar noted on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom” that globally, the “more elderly and medically frail” are the ones more likely to “succumb” to the virus. He also advised that while they are still working on a vaccine that could be another 12-18 months, the “risk of getting the coronavirus is low” for most Americans.
“What we’re trying to tell people is we need to keep it in perspective,” he cautioned. “For most of us, the risk of getting the coronavirus is low and it remains that way. But for people who are close to anyone who is impacted, the risk is higher. But this is a rapidly evolving situation. We’re learning more every day, every hour, and so as the NCAA or businesses think about their actions, we’re saying use common sense. We’re going to give you guidance if we have science and evidence to back it up. But use common sense now as you think about travel that you are going to do.”
Azar added that he is “encouraged” by the possible vaccine being ready in a 12-18 month timetable.
“That would be probably the fastest vaccine delivery in human history if we could get a vaccine developed and out in 12-18 months,” he stated. “That’s incredible.”