US health officials said earlier this week that it was only a matter of time before the coronavirus turned into a global pandemic, APA reports citing Sputnik.
The US government's leading official on HIV/AIDS, Debbie Birx, will serve as the White House response coordinator for the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the office of the vice president said in a statement on Thursday.
"Today, Vice President Mike Pence announced the following individual to a key position on his team to combat the spread of the Coronavirus: Ambassador Debbie Birx, to serve as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator", the statement said.
Birx will be working with the Coronavirus Task Force led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and she will be supported by the National Security Council staff, the White House said.
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump announced that Pence will be in charge of overseeing the US response efforts to the virus outbreak in the United States.
Trump also said the outbreak could worsen in the United States, but such a situation is not inevitable. As of Wednesday, the number of US citizens diagnosed with the novel coronavirus stood at 59, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As of Thursday, over 82,000 people worldwide have contracted the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, of whom 2,800 have died and more than 33,000 have recovered.