03:30 GMT04 April 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders accused the Trump administration of releasing misleading and unscientific information about controlling the coronavirus and slammed the decision to appoint Vice President Mike Pence to lead the response effort.

    "The Trump administration must stop releasing misleading, unscientific, and false information about whether the coronavirus is controlled or when it will be controlled", Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.

    Sanders said Trump put politics above public safety by appointing someone "completely unqualified" to lead the administration's response to the pandemic. The senator urged the administration to replace Pence at once with an expert on pandemics and disaster response.

    He also called on Trump to sign the full $8.5 billion in coronavirus response funding proposed by Congress.

    According to Johns Hopkins University's online coronavirus tracker, as of Thursday, 60 cases have been confirmed in the United States which includes six people who have recovered. The tool maps coronavirus cases across the globe pulling data from CDC, WHO, and European and Chinese health agencies.

    On Wednesday, President Donald Trump, after announcing that Pence would head the coronavirus response, rejected the assessment by US health officials who said it was inevitable that the virus would spread more broadly in the United States. 

    The US government has begun preparing for a potential novel coronavirus epidemic within the United States after reported outbreaks in Iran, South Korea and Italy escalated this week.

    Tags:
    Democrats, China, infection, pneumonia, virus, United States, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders
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