By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he is appointing Vice President Mike Pence to head a task force to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"I'm going to be putting our Vice President Mike Pence in charge. And Mike will be working with the professionals, doctors," Trump said during a White House press briefing on tackling the deadly virus, officially known as COVID-19.
"He's got a certain talent for this," said Trump, adding the vice president will report back to him.
The president also said a vaccine is coming along well.
"We think that this is something that we can develop fairly rapidly, a vaccine for the future," he added.
Pence, for his part, said he looks forward to "serving in this role."
"We have no higher priority than the safety, security, health and wellbeing of the American people," he said.
Pence is tasked with bringing together the members of the coronavirus task force and providing Trump with "the best options for action.”
When asked about the stock market plummet amid the coronavirus outbreak, Trump said: "I think the stock market will recover."
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the virus poses a low risk to Americans.
"The immediate risk to the American public is and continues to be low," he said.
The novel coronavirus has sounded global alarms, with China, the epicenter of the outbreak, reporting more than 2,700 deaths and health experts grappling to find a cure.
Outside mainland China, the virus has spread to more than 30 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.
The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.