Trump seeks $2.5B to stem coronavirus spread; lawmakers unsure if it’ll be enough


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ President Donald Trump is asking Congress for $2.5 billion to prepare for the potential spread of the coronavirus nationwide, despite also stating that the United States has everything under control.

Trump said the majority of the funding would be put toward developing quarantine and treatment facilities for those who could potentially have the virus. He said some of the money would come from other infectious disease programs, like one earmarked to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.

After taking part in a classified briefing, Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said he’s still concerned that a coronavirus outbreak is inevitable in the United States.

“Protection, preparedness, prevention, they all seem to be inadequate right now,” he said. “The approach right now seems to be, ‘Take two aspirin and call us in the morning.'”

On Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar defended Trump’s funding request, saying it’s necessary. Blumenthal said while securing the funding is important, he isn’t sure it will be enough.

“It’s way below what’s needed to protect the American people,” he said.

Blumenthal and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, believe the Trump administration is “asleep at the wheel.”

“President Trump, good morning. There’s a pandemic of Coronavirus. Where are you? Where is your plan?” Schumer said.

On Monday, fears over the virus spreading globally caused financial markets to take a major hit.

Despite the losses and concerns on Capitol Hill, Trump says he isn’t concerned.

“Let’s just say we’re fortunate so far and we think it’s going to remain that way,” Trump said.

Congress has yet to authorize any funding to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus COVID-19 videos

Biden slams Trump for 'knowingly' lying on COVID

McEnany: Trump 'never lied' to the public on COVID

Trump bemoans virus restrictions in North Carolina

University of Tennessee relocating Massey Hall residents to make room for COVID-19 self-isolation cases

Coronavirus in Tennessee: Knox County reports 100 new cases, 157 new inactive cases

Knox County Health Dept. says plan in place for vaccine distribution

UT Chancellor: Some dodging COVID-19 precautions

Two Tennessee women participating in a COVID-19 vaccine study

Tennessee teachers asking for more safety measures

State launching COVID-19 schools dashboard

Knox County Health Dept.: Numbers reflect new timeframe for inactive cases

Clinton High School cancels next 2 weeks of games due to virus

UT chancellor: Fraternities trying to avoid COVID-19 precautions

Trending Stories

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter