US President Donald Trump on Tuesday (local time) said that his administration is coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely to curb the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 400 in China and has spread to several countries around the world.
"My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat," Trump said.
According to Al Jazeera, the National Health Commission in Beijing has so far registered 427 fatalities in mainland China from more than 20,485 cases.
The President made the remarks during his State of Union address, a day ahead of his expected acquittal by the Senate in the impeachment trial.
Meanwhile, while focusing on the healthcare measures undertaken by his administration, Trump also announced the highest civilian honour of the United States, the Medal of Freedom, to Rush Limbaugh, the long time conservative commentator who recently announced a cancer diagnosis.
Limbaugh, an outspoken supporter of Trump, was spotted in the first lady's viewing box in the House chamber with his wife ahead of Trump's Tuesday evening speech.
Trump reportedly said at a private lunch with news anchors ahead of his speech before the Congress that he is planning to award Limbaugh with the Medal of Freedom, The Hill reported.
He made the remarks the day after Limbaugh, 69, revealed on his talk radio show that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Limbaugh, an extremely influential voice in conservative media, said that he would be away from the show until at least Thursday to undergo treatment.
"This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory, for me, because I've known this moment was coming. I'm sure that you all know by now that I really don't like talking about myself and I don't like making things about me," Limbaugh said at the conclusion of Monday's broadcast.
While introducing the commentator, Trump said, "This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet. Rush Limbaugh, thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country."
First Lady Mela Trump presented a visibly emotional Limbaugh with the medal on the spot.
( With inputs from ANI )