20200311 Leavitt Fox

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt says now that the COVID-19 virus has reached pandemic status, it’s time for Americans to remain calm but prepare for the worst.

“We need to take it seriously and be calm. This is a time for preparation, not for panic,” said Leavitt on Fox News. “We have to do basic things that will spell the difference between a tragic pandemic and a pandemic that will undoubtedly be an undoubtedly unfortunate period of our lives.”

Leavitt, the former Utah Governor, said those basic things include hand washing, not hold large events and curtailing travel to help stop the spread of the virus.

Leavitt said there’s a role for all branches of government, from the feds to local entities to play in the response, but the primary responsibility will fall on local officials.

“The thing that is unique about a pandemic, it is a very local emergency. It will be local public health officials that will be helping everyone understand what the proper approach is. This will unfold in different ways and different communities, but it will unfold and we will need their help,” he said.

Ultimately, said Leavitt, the COVID-19 outbreak will touch the lives of many Americans.

“Anyone who believes the federal government will somehow come riding to our rescue will be tragically disappointed. Not because of a lack of will or wallet, but because it is logistically impossible to deal with an emergency that is happening everywhere at the same time. We have to have local governments, businesses, schools, churches and families doing the things they can to minimize the impact of this,” said Leavitt.

Watch the clip below via Fox News: