Health officials say 21 people on a cruise ship barred from docking in San Francisco have tested positive for coronavirus, as half a dozen US states reported their first cases of the fast-spreading respiratory disease.
Mr Trump earlier signed a bill that will provide $8.3 billion to bolster the country’s capacity to test for coronavirus and fund other measures to stem an outbreak that has now killed 15 Americans.
On Friday, six states – Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Nebraska – reported their first cases, bringing the total to 25 states that now have the virus.
In Seattle, the epicentre of the nation’s outbreak, there were school closures and orders to work from home. In Miami and Baltimore, areas less affected by the outbreak, music festivals and sporting events were cancelled or curtailed as a precaution.
As stocks plunge and US companies grapple with the economic fallout, the Trump administration is said to be weighing tax relief for the deeply affected cruise, travel and airline industries.
Americans are sharply divided over the dangers of the new coronavirus, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Critics of Mr Trump have accused the president of downplaying the significance of the outbreak for political reasons. He has said the risk to Americans is low.
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