Is It A Pandemic Or Not? Reading The Mixed Signals Surrounding COVID-19

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to sound the alarm over COVID-19, while also sending mixed signals at the same time.

According to the latest CDC briefing: "While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a report out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness."

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The briefing states that, right now, "most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. This virus is NOT currently spreading widely in the United States. However, it is important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic."

On CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Americans should remain calm.

"I don't want to downplay anything. Worry about the effect on human beings, for heaven's sake. But I'm just saying, let's not overreact," Kudlow said. "We don't actually know what the magnitude of the virus is going to be, although frankly so far it looks relatively contained."

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