Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says coronavirus will help bring jobs to U.S.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross claims coronavirus may help bring jobs to North America

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday that he believes the coronavirus that has left thousands of people sick and claimed more than 170 lives in China will help to “accelerate the return of jobs to North America.”

"Well, first of all, every American's heart has to go out to the victims of the coronavirus," Ross said in an interview Thursday morning with Fox Business News' Maria Bartiromo. "So, I don't want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease. But the fact is, it does give businesses yet another thing to consider when they go through their review of their supply chain."

As of Thursday, about 7,700 people have become ill and 170 have died since the coronavirus was first detected last month in Wuhan, China, according to The Associated Press. The viral outbreak has prompted authorities to lock down railways and other transportation systems in an effort to stymie the spread of the illness amid the Lunar New Year travel season.

"It's another risk factor that people need to take into account," Ross said Thursday. "So, I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America, some to the U.S., probably some to Mexico as well."

Since last month, health officials have confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus in more than 20 countries, including the U.S. and Canada, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In America, five people have been confirmed as infected with the coronavirus: one in Washington, one in Illinois, two in California and one in Arizona.

Earlier this week, officials said the risk of becoming infected with coronavirus in the U.S. remained low.

"We are in very close communication with China concerning the virus," President Donald Trump said Monday in a tweet. " Very few cases reported in USA, but strongly on watch. We have offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary. Our experts are extraordinary!"

Officials recommend that any people who have recently traveled to Wuhan and subsequently experienced flu-like symptoms -- including fever, coughing, shortness of breath or a sore throat -- contact their health care providers.