CHARLOTTE – President Donald Trump visited Bojangles’ Coliseum to poke fun at political foes the day before Super Tuesday, but he also spoke sincerely about what the White House is doing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Trump mentioned travel restrictions to prevent the respiratory illness from coming into the country and meetings with representatives from pharmaceutical companies to talk about treatment.
“Washington Democrats are trying to politicize the coronavirus, denigrating the work of our public health professionals,” Trump said, noting these professionals are the best at what they do. “The political attacks from some of the Democrats really must stop. We’ve all got to work together on this one to safeguard our people.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 60 cases and six deaths through noon March 3. Later that day, North Carolina confirmed its first case, assuring this was an isolated incident.
The Wake County resident was exposed to the long-term care center in Washington, where there was a coronavirus outbreak. The resident is doing well in isolation at home, according to the state health department.
“I know that people are worried about this virus, and I want to assure North Carolinians our state is prepared,” Gov. Roy Cooper said during a March 3 press conference. “Our most important work is keeping people healthy and safe.”
Much of the messaging from local, state and federal health departments is that the situation is being monitored and organizations are communicating with each other to prepare for its spread.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Union County Public Schools have assured families that children are safe.
CMS announced Feb. 28 that if an outbreak occurred in Mecklenburg County, leadership would consider alternative learning environments and other measures, such as canceling large events. The district said it has instructed staff to spend more time disinfecting schools.
UCPS Superintendent Andrew Houlihan said during the March 3 school board meeting that members of his senior team met with physicians and executives from Atrium Health, as well as leaders from the Union County Health Department, to discuss local plans and protocols. UCPS is also sending representatives to work with the state’s 12 largest districts to develop a statewide resource kit for schools.
“We are taking this very seriously,” Houlihan said. “There are a lot of unknown factors and a lot of hypothetical situations, and it will be an evolving case. I ask you all to please be patient with us and know that the safety of our students and staff will continue to be the highest priority in our school system.”