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Vice President Mike Pence discusses coronavirus in Palm Beach County

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Posted at 9:51 AM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 19:26:13-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The coronavirus outbreak took center stage on Friday when Vice President Mike Pence visited Palm Beach County.

Pence, who was recently named the head of the Trump Administration's coronavirus response, held a news conference with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at Atlantic Aviation, located on Palm Beach International Airport property.

"According to our health experts, the threat of the coronavirus spreading in the United States remains low," said Pence.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus

The vice president said there have been 61 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S.

"I'm happy to tell you that in every case, people are being treated and by all accounts are doing well," said Pence.

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FULL NEWS CONFERENCE: Vice President Mike Pence discusses coronavirus in Palm Beach County

47,000 people have been screened for coronavirus at airports around the country, according to the vice president, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force continues to discuss possible changes in travel to restrict the virus from entering the U.S.

"Our objective is to be ready," said Pence. "This is an all hands on deck effort. And we're not only gonna make sure that the resources are there, but that the president has the broadest range of options presented for him to keep the American people safe from this virus."

Gov. DeSantis said there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Florida, but the state is ready to respond.

On Friday, State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees said 15 people in Florida have been tested for the virus to date, but all of those test results were negative. Four people are currently under investigation for coronavirus.

"A person under investigation means this is an individual who is suspected of having coronavirus," said Dr. Rivkees. "They've been to one of these high risk areas, they have respiratory symptoms."

Gov. DeSantis said Florida is following guidance from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services with regard to prevention measures for coronavirus.

In addition, Florida has a coronavirus Incident Management Team in place and hundreds of Department of Health professionals prepared for patients.

The Florida Department of Health has set up a website with the latest information about coronavirus. CLICK HERE FOR THAT WEBSITE.

"We're going to make sure that states like Florida, and your local health officials, have the resources to be able to be prepared for any eventuality," Pence said on Friday.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump announced that Pence will be in charge of the administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

"We’re very, very ready for this, for anything," the president said during a news conference with CDC officials.

President Trump said the coronavirus risk to Americans is very low, and the task force, led by Pence, is handling the outbreak effectively.