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US Health Expert Testifies Virus '10 Times Deadlier Than the Flu'

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (AP Photo)

The US is fighting back against COVID-19 following emergency declarations in 18 states and the state of New York orders the nation's first containment zone. 

"It is a dramatic action," said  Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) "This is literally a matter of life and death."

In Europe, countries announced on Wednesday increased government spending to stop the spread of the virus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that around 60 - 70 percent of the German population will contract the coronavirus. 

US Taking Steps to Slow Spread

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar says this is just the beginning of the disease's escalation. 

"This is a virus. This will spread," said Azar. "We need to take steps to slow that, buy ourselves time."

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That time will be used to ship millions of test kits and setting up testing locations to try and minimize the spread. 

"When people need a test, they can get a test. when the professionals need a test, they can get the test," said President Trump 

The president is also proposing to suspend the payroll tax to boost the economy, but lawmakers say they prefer targeted measures to assist hourly workers and the travel industry.

Other examples of the impact, include the cancellation of the New York City Half Marathon. The popular music festival Coachella has also been postponed. 

Major companies like Apple and Google have encouraged their employees to work from home. 

Some universities have even canceled classes. Harvard has told students to move out of the dorms and take online classes instead.

10 Times More Deadly Than the Flu

Testifying on Capitol Hill, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the outbreak in the U.S. is going to get worse.

"I can say we will see more cases, and things will get worse than they are right now," Fauci told the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Facing questions from lawmakers, Fauci explained, "It is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu." 

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