Trump to detail US coronavirus efforts, Schumer seeks $8.5B




  • In World
  • 2020-02-26 13:36:26Z
  • By Associated Press
Trump to detail US coronavirus efforts, Schumer seeks $8.5B
Trump to detail US coronavirus efforts, Schumer seeks $8.5B  

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump said he'll discuss the coronavirus threat at a White House news conference Wednesday, a day after he sought to minimize fears of the virus spreading widely across the U.S.

Trump tweeted that representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others, would join him at the late-afternoon appearance.

Trump and members of the administration have been sending mixed messages about the virus.

The CDC on Tuesday warned the American public to prepare for an an outbreak of the disease, which has spawned more than 80,000 cases around the world but relatively few so far in the U.S.

But before he flew home from India on Tuesday, Trump said the coronavirus situation is "very well under control in our country." The 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.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike have questioned whether the request is sufficient.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, on Wednesday unveiled an $8.5 billion request to respond to the virus outbreak, more than triple Trump's request. Schumer is asking for $4.5 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to work to contain the outbreak in the U.S., $1 billion to develop and manufacture a vaccine, $1 billion to help other countries battle the coronavirus, and $2 billion to reimburse states for costs incurred in tackling the outbreak.

"We will put together a supplemental that will address this issue," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Calif. Aides said the House measure is likely to be unveiled next week.

DeLauro dismissed the White House's $2.5 billion request, saying the two-page summary appeared to have been put together without much thought. She contrasted it to a 28-page submission from the Obama administration on Ebola.

Azar responded "I appreciate your frustration with the two-page letter being the documentation," but he said he believes $2.5 billion will be enough for now. "If it doesn't fund it, we'll come back to you."

Schumer has been harshly critical of Trump's response to the outbreak, but his request - announced before the Democratic-controlled House Appropriations Committee has weighed in - rankled some Democrats hoping for quick, bipartisan action to address the crisis.

Arriving back in the U.S. early Wednesday, Trump immediately began to push back against critics who say he should have acted sooner to bolster the federal response to the coronavirus.

He tweeted that the CDC, Azar and others are "doing a great job with respect to Coronavirus!" and announced that he would be briefed later Wednesday.

"I will be having a News Conference at the White House, on this subject, today at 6:00 P.M. CDC representatives, and others, will be there."

Trump also criticized some news media coverage of the coronavirus, accusing news outlets of "panicking markets."

The president keeps close tabs on the stock market, seeing it as an indicator that his economic policies are working and frequently charting its growth on Twitter. Markets tumbled Monday by more than 1,000 points and again on Tuesday, and Trump noticed.

In India, he said China, where the outbreak began, was getting the epidemic under control.

"They're getting it more and more under control so I think that's a problem that's going to go away," he said in India, while noting that "we lost almost 1,000 points" Monday on the stock market.

Azar was scheduled Wednesday to testify to Congress about appropriations for his department, with questioning about the administration's coronavirus preparations likely.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham also engaged in the pushback after returning with Trump. Grisham retweeted a CDC post that said "there is currently no reported community spread" of coronavirus in the U.S.

In the tweet, the CDC advised people to take the usual precautions to avoid spreading the virus, such as staying home when sick and washing hands with soap and water.

This week, the National Institutes of Health received a shipment of test doses of a vaccine candidate from Moderna Inc., in preparation for first-step safety testing in a few dozen people aimed to begin by April. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIH's infectious disease chief, cautioned reporters that in a best-case scenario, "you're talking about a year to a year and a half" before any vaccine would be ready for widespread use.

Fauci said that while only a few cases have turned up in the U.S. from travelers outside the country, "we need to be able to think about how we will respond to a pandemic outbreak."

"It's very clear. If we have a global pandemic, no country is going to be without impact," Fauci said.

A pandemic involves the continual spread of sustained transmission from person to person in multiple regions and hemispheres throughout the world simultaneously, Fauci noted.

__

Associated Press writer Andrew Taylor and AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard contributed to this report.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Acting Navy secretary is out after bungled firing of USS Theodore Roosevelt
Acting Navy secretary is out after bungled firing of USS Theodore Roosevelt's captain

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly, who had lambasted Capt. Brett Crozier for his letter about a coronavirus-stricken warship, submitted his resignation, sources said.

How a Ship
How a Ship's Coronavirus Outbreak Became a Moral Crisis for the Military

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's acting Navy secretary, in a profanity-laced reprimand delivered Monday, criticized sailors aboard the stricken aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt for cheering their captain, who was removed after he appealed for help as the coronavirus spread throughout the

Trade Adviser Warned White House in January of Risks of a Pandemic
Trade Adviser Warned White House in January of Risks of a Pandemic

A top White House adviser starkly warned Trump administration officials in late January that the coronavirus crisis could cost the United States trillions of dollars and put millions of Americans at risk of illness or death.The warning, written in a memo by Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump's

Trump Proceeds With Post-Impeachment Purge Amid Pandemic
Trump Proceeds With Post-Impeachment Purge Amid Pandemic

WASHINGTON -- Remember the impeachment? President Donald Trump does. Even in the middle of a pandemic, he made clear on Saturday that he remained fixated on purging the government of those he believes betrayed him during the inquiry that led to his Senate trial.The president's under-cover-of-darkness

U.S.
U.S. 'wasted' months before preparing for virus pandemic

As the first alarms sounded in early January that an outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China might ignite a global pandemic, the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment. A review

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World