Emergency US request for $8.5MILLION coronavirus funding as military on high alert for killer virus spread – The Sun
CHUCK Schumer asked for $8.5 BILLION in coronavirus emergency funding as the US military are on high alert as the killer virus continues to spread.
He provided a breakdown the "desperately-needed resources" America needs to combat the deadly disease as the US military reminded troops to check for symptoms.
Schumer said the funds would given to health agencies – including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – and go towards rapid virus development to fight the incurable sickness.
His request comes as sailors based in large military areas like Florida – which is home to nearly two dozen bases – have been warned to watch out for coronavirus symptoms as officials there prepare for an outbreak.
News4Jax reports the US Navy reminded service members and their families who have traveled to high-risk areas in China to pay attention to watch for possible signs of COVID-19.
As soldiers watch out for symptoms, the Trump administration asked for local, state and federal funding to fight the virus – and pay them back for evacuating US citizens from epicenter Wuhan and quarantining them in US bases, reports Fox.
But today, the Senate Minority Leader insisted "Congress must act fast" to contain the spread of the insidious sickness on US soil with 59 confirmed cases here after it has already claimed the lives of 2,770 people around the world as of February 26.
"Our proposal was put together after hearing from public health experts and looking at historical precedents for when Congress funded fights to combat spread of serious diseases," Schumer said.
The final number for emergency spending will have to be negotiated between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and Congress as countries like Brazil and Georgia confirmed cases.
The Dems dismissed goverment officials $2.5 billion request as too low after the CDC issued a stark warning to Americans that it was a case of "if, not when " the virus would spread.
Schumer also highlighted the fact Congress appropriated $7 billion to battle H1N1 virus 11 years ago – after Trump insisted the pandemic was under control ahead of his press briefing later today.
Yesterday, the Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II asked a Senate sub-committee to approve $2.5 billion in new money and unspent funds.
He delivered a disturbing message about the "unprecedented, potentially severe" scale of the illness, revealing the US needed 300 million masks but only stockpiled 30 million of them.
The CDC had acknowledged the scale of the global pandemic here before six more people evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship were diagnosed today.
This brings the total number of American patients to 59 with 14 confirmed cases right here in the US as the number of cases outside China explode.
Nationally, Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease told Americans to "prepare for the expectation that this might be bad" yesterday.
She cited widespread school closures, a decrease in cops, overloaded hospitals, and deaths as possible outcomes of the outbreak, saying "it’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country any more but a question of when this will happen."
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