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Mike Pence: Risk of contracting coronavirus 'remains low'

Blair Shiff

Vice President Mike Pence wants the American public to stay calm in the midst of the growing coronavirus outbreak.

"The American people should just know the risk of the average American to contract the coronavirus remains low," Pence told FOX Business' Lou Dobbs on Wednesday. "But this president has deployed the full resources of the federal government to confront the coronavirus."

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 11 on Wednesday after a Californian died from complications of the virus. The death is the nation's first reported fatality outside Washington state.

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Pence, however, reiterated America "will find our way through this," saying the Trump administration is focused on putting "the health of America first."

"The American people can be confident that we're ready," Pence said during "Lou Dobbs Tonight." "Thanks to the leadership of this president, the dedication of our health care professionals at every level and, to no less extent, the dedication of governors around the country [and] state health officials, we're leaning into this effort. It's an all-hands-on-deck approach, and it's going to stay that way until we find our way through the coronavirus."

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Pence insisted Trump's "unprecedented action" to suspend all travel from China and quarantining Americans once they got home helped squash the spreading of the virus.

Pence plans to visit Minnesota on Thursday where he will stop by 3M, which manufactures many face masks.

"We're going to make sure that we contract for, and make available, the kind of masks and gloves and eye protection so that our health care workers can be there for whatever impacts this coronavirus has in communities in this country," Pence said.

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Officials in Placer County, Calif., near Sacramento, said an elderly person, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday after returning from a San Francisco-to-Mexico cruise, had died. The victim had underlying health problems, according to authorities.

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Washington state also announced another death, which brings its total to 10. Most of those who died were residents of a nursing home in Kirkland, a suburb east of Seattle. At least 31 cases have been reported in the Seattle area, where researchers say the virus may have been circulating undetected for weeks.

Pence told Dobbs pharmaceutical companies are insisting a vaccine will be available to the public in about a year or year-in-a-half.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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