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Tags: azar | hhs | cdc

Azar: Coronavirus Help Offered '1,300 Deaths Ago'

HHS Secretary Azar: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar  is shown.
(Alex Brandon/AP)

By    |   Friday, 14 February 2020 12:06 PM EST

HHS Secretary Azar: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday he and Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield first offered to send CDC experts into China concerning the coronavirus epidemic on Jan. 6 — or "1,300 deaths ago"  — but they are still waiting for the Chinese government to approve the final clearance to allow them in. 

"We made the offer to send the CDC experts in to assist their Chinese colleagues to get to the bottom of key scientific questions," Azar told CNN's "New Day."

The World Health Organization has an agreement to deploy a team, with U.S. public health experts as part of that team, and they are ready to go, said Azar, but they are still waiting for China. 

Azar said he would be "guarded' while talking about China's transparency, as the nation is facing an unprecedented crisis, but the WHO must hold the Chinese to account for transparency and cooperation. 

It is also important that the Chinese give the WHO team full access, rather than just confining it into a conference room and handing it sanitized data, "or it won't be a useful mission," said Azar. 

Thursday, President Trump commented that "in theory," as the weather warms up, the coronavirus "miraculously goes away," but that was an expression of "hope," said Azar. 

Coronavirus can be heat-responsive, said Azar, adding that it could respond in the way SARS does and continue as the weather warms up. 

"We hope that it will go on a downslope in warm seasons but we are prepared for the worst that it won't.," said Azar. "So far, we're seeing very limited impact here in the United States, but that could change at any time."

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HHS Secretary Azar: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday he and Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield first offered to send CDC experts into China for the coronavirus epidemic on Jan. 6 — or "1,300 deaths ago"  — but they are still . . .
azar, hhs, cdc
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2020-06-14
Friday, 14 February 2020 12:06 PM
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