Meet the voice of America’s fight against the deadly coronavirus

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Coronavirus Outbreak in US 'Might Be Bad,' Warns CDC On Tuesday, CDC official Dr. Nancy Messonnier urged "the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad." Dr. Nancy Messonnier, via 'The New York Times' Secretary of health and human services, Alex M. Azar II, also made a serious statement regarding the coronavirus on Tuesday. Alex M. Azar II, via 'The New York Times' The secretary stated that more hospital ventilators and as many as 300 million masks will be necessary f

Dr. Nancy Messonnier plays leading role during CDC briefings

As the nation prepares for an all-but-certain domestic coronavirus outbreak, Dr. Nancy Messonnier has become the public voice of the fight.

Messonnier is the director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Her department is part of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has been holding regular media briefings since the outbreak began, and Messonnier’s voice is the one most often heard.

“I had a conversation with my family over breakfast this morning, and I told my children that while I didn’t think that they were at risk right now, we as a family need to be preparing for significant disruption of our lives,” Messonnier said during Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing.

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Dr. Nancy Messonnier

Credit: LAUREN BISHOP - CDC

Dr. Nancy Messonnier

Credit: LAUREN BISHOP - CDC

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Dr. Nancy Messonnier

Credit: LAUREN BISHOP - CDC

Credit: LAUREN BISHOP - CDC

“We expect we will see community spread in this country,” she said. “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness.”

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has infected more than 81,000 people in three dozen countries, according to the World Health Organization.

On Wednesday, the first American soldier to be diagnosed with the deadly virus was confirmed, a 23-year-old man stationed in South Korea.

»RELATED: What you need to know about coronavirus if you live in Georgia

Worries about the ever-expanding economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis are multiplying. Even the Olympics, five months away, wasn't far enough off to keep people from wondering if it would go on as planned.

Credit: AJC

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Tokyo Olympics Could Face Possible‘Cancellation’ Amid Coronavirus Outbreak Dick Pound, a senior member of the InternationalOlympics Committee, recently sat down with TheAssociated Press to discuss the upcoming Olympics. According to Pound, although the Olympics are currently proceeding forward with “business as usual,” the IOCis taking the coronavirus outbreak very seriously. He estimates the committee hasat least a two-month window todecide the fate of the Olympics. Dick Pound,via Associated Press

Credit: AJC

“The sudden increases of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.

President Donald Trump’s administration has asked Congress for an additional $2.5 billion to speed development of a vaccine, support preparedness and response activities, and to gather needed equipment and supplies.

»MORE: Coronavirus fears cancel Ash Wednesday services

“Cases of COVID-19 are appearing without a known source of exposure,” Messonnier said Tuesday. “Communities include Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Community spread is often a trigger to begin implementing new strategies tailored to local circumstances that blunt the impact of disease and can slow the spread of virus.

“The fact this virus has caused illness — including illness resulting in death, and sustained person-to-person spread — is concerning.”

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Trump Says Coronavirus Is 'Going to Go Away' The President remained optimistic about the virus that is spreading rapidly across Europe and the Middle East. President Trump, via statement President Trump, via statement CNN reports that Trump has not been as calm behind-the-scenes and has expressed frustration with his administration. The President will return from his trip to India amid growing concern over the spread of the virus. Experts have warned that the coronavirus could soon become a full-b

According to the CDC, Messonnier began her public health career in 1995 as an epidemic intelligence service officer. She’s held a number of leadership posts across CDC and within NCIRD, serving as NCIRD deputy director and leading NCIRD’s meningitis and vaccine branch.

»COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS

Messonnier played a leading role in developing a low-cost vaccine to prevent epidemic meningococcal meningitis in Africa. More than 150 million people in Africa have been vaccinated with MenAfriVac since 2010. She’s also been a leader in CDC’s response to anthrax, including developing vaccines.

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Coronavirus Officially Named COVID-19 by the WHO The coronavirus that has sickened more than 42,000 people and left at least 1,000 dead was officially named by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday. COVID-19 references the coronavirus disease being discovered in 2019. World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was important to avoid stigma when naming the particular virus. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, NBC News According to Ghebreyesus, the first vaccine to com

Messonnier received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and doctorate from the University of Chicago School of Medicine. She completed internal medicine residency training at the University of Pennsylvania.