President Donald Trump is expected to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s headquarters in Atlanta this week as the US grapples with the novel coronavirus, an administration official told CNN on Sunday.
The President will also visit the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on Tuesday, according to the White House. That trip will also be related to the effort against the coronavirus.
Administration officials weighed having Trump visit the CDC weeks ago, but he never followed through on the initial plans, the official said. It’s unclear if Vice President Mike Pence, who was recently placed in charge of the administration’s response to the outbreak, will join the President on the trip.
Politico first reported Trump would be making the trip to the CDC.
The visit comes as Trump has fumed in recent days at Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
Messonnier recently said of a potential outbreak in the US, “It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen.”
Trump thought officials like Messonnier were causing unnecessary alarm over the disease, which claimed the life of a man in Washington this weekend, marking the first US fatality.
The now-deceased patient appears to have become ill through community spread, according to Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, who spoke alongside the President at a briefing Saturday.