WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — The Trump Administration is preparing for whatever the coronavirus could do to the United States.

“The president has no higher priority than the health and safety of the American People,” Vice President Mike Pence said.

Pence met with the coronavirus task force Thursday, the day after President Donald Trump appointed him to lead the nation’s fight against the coronavirus.

“I’m glad to see that he put the vice president in charge. I do wish the vice president had a little technical background,” Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said.

Warner says the administration needs to be truthful with the American people.

“I’ll give the vice president the benefit of the doubt if he’s willing to gear up very quickly and make sure that we tell Americans the straight story,” Warner said.

Sen. Bob Casey says the vice president needs to listen to the medical experts inside and outside the federal government.

“They’re the professionals, they’re not politicians, they’re not running for re-election, they’re not doing anything. They’re the professionals,” Casey said.

Many Democrats and Republicans agree that Trump’s request for $2.5 billion will not be enough to combat the disease, but Republicans say the president is taking this in the right direction.

Sen. Patrick Toomey says the president is taking the right approach to combat the virus.

“We’re going to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst and make sure that we have resources in place to fight this very aggressively if it does emerge as a serious health problem,” Toomey said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates Americans should expect more cases in the days and weeks ahead, but the CDC says it can’t yet tell how serious or widespread the outbreak will be.

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