'Disruption to everyday life might be severe,' a CDC vaccine expert said.
The Centers for Disease Control issued a dire warning about COVID-19 — the coronavirus disease that first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China — telling the American public to prepare for "community spread in the near term."
"Disruption to everyday life might be severe," Nancy Messonnier, a vaccine expert at the CDC, said in a press call about the virus, according to New York Times reporter Julie Bosman.
The CDC's warning came hours after Donald Trump assured the country that COVID-19 is under control — a direct contradiction.
"We're really down to probably about 10," Trump said at a news conference in India Tuesday morning, referring to the number of cases of the virus in the country.
Trump's statement was incorrect, however. As of just four days ago, there were at least 34 cases in the United States, according to federal health officials, and doctors fear more cases are coming.
Trump's messaging about the virus — in which he is trying to play down its spread and potential impact on American life — is reportedly directly tied to his reelection bid.
Trump fears the virus could negatively impact his chances in November, according to Politico.
On Monday, global stock markets took a deep dive out of concerns with how the virus might impact economic growth. Yet as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 1,000 points, Trump took to Twitter to claim everything is fine.
"The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries," Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. "CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!"
On Tuesday, markets continued to slide, with the Dow dropping more than 450 points as of the time this article was published.
As the CDC issued its dire warning about COVID-19, Trump's secretary of Homeland Security struggled to answer basic questions about what the administration is doing to prevent an outbreak.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) chastised Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf for not knowing answers on whether the administration was preparing for the virus to spread.
"I'm asking you questions as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. And you're supposed to keep us safe. And you need to know the answers to these questions," Kennedy told Wolf.
Correction: COVID-19 is a disease stemming from a virus, not a virus itself.