WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Lawmakers from both parties are expressing concern over the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
The White House is requesting $2.5 billion in emergency funding, but Democrats say that’s not nearly enough and called the administration’s plan to handle the outbreak “shameful.”
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar says the money would go towards developing a vaccine, protective equipment and preparing state and local public health departments for an outbreak.
“Creating a new vaccine is really hard,” Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) said. “So the fact that this might be done over eight or nine months’ time horizon is showing the speed at which people are taking this seriously.”
But Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) says there is no coordinated plan. And he says the amount the administration requested is not nearly enough.
“We’ve seen one agency saying that it is going to get worse before it gets better, we see another department saying that it is all under control,” Ruiz said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says Congress needs to appropriate $8.5 billion to respond to the virus outbreak: three times more than what the President requested.
LATEST ON THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK:
- Coronavirus in Florida: Over 4,000 cases in state, no overnight deaths
- Dr. Fauci warns U.S. could see over 100,000 deaths
- Age is not the only risk for severe coronavirus disease
- Pelosi: Trump’s downplaying of coronavirus cost American lives
- Checkpoints set up along Florida-Alabama border to keep COVID-19 from spreading in the sunshine state