By BOBBY JOHNSON, NBC NEWS • U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to put a halt to a nationwide outbreak of the new coronavirus, calling it a “national emergency.”
Trump made the comments Monday at a White House news conference, and as he spoke, the country was experiencing a coronaviral pandemic that has killed more than 8,800 people and left more than 200,000 others infected.
The White House said Trump, in the most direct way yet, called for a “pause” on the coronaviruses.
“This is not the end of the world,” Trump said.
“The only thing that I can do is to show the world that I will keep fighting for you.
That’s the only way that I know how to do it.”
On Monday, Trump said that his administration had been in contact with several states, including Texas, where he said Texas had tested positive for the virus, and he said the state was “looking at a plan.”
Trump’s administration has said it is working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department to monitor and contain the outbreak.
The Trump administration said the federal government was still assessing the health of the nation’s remaining cases.
The outbreak began in January and has killed nearly 800 people in the United States, and more than 300,000 people have been infected, according to the CDC.
The virus has also been spreading rapidly throughout the globe.
The disease has caused more than 13 million infections, according the World Health Organization, with more than 100,000 deaths.
In the past two weeks, the outbreak has spread to China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.
As of Monday, there are more than 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavivirus worldwide, according a WHO report.
Trump has said he would consider declaring the pandemic a national emergency, a move that would give the government the power to take action against people or companies that violate federal laws.
The president has repeatedly used the word “national” to describe the pandemics threat.
Trump said he spoke to former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday to “express my concern” about the spread of the virus and that he had spoken with the leaders of Brazil, Russia and India.
The U.N. said it had also received a report from a person who is living with a virus and is seeking medical care.
A U.K. health official said that he was living with the virus in his London home, and a French doctor said a man in Paris was showing symptoms of the disease.
The WHO said Monday that it had confirmed 1,972 confirmed cases and 8,898 deaths.
The World Health Assembly, a U.NAIDS-supported body, has urged the international community to take the crisis seriously and to take steps to protect people from contracting the virus.
The group said in a statement that it was urging governments, including the United Nations, to establish a global vaccine fund to protect the public from the spread and to ensure that it does not take place in poor countries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.