As the coronavirus explodes across the globe, President Trump said on Monday that the epidemic is under control in the United States.
“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” Trump wrote on Twitter, where he is on a two-day state visit.
The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020
The White House is preparing to request emergency funding from Congress in order to address coronavirus, which has suddenly spread at an alarming rate across the world.
“We need some funding here to make sure that we protect all Americans,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Monday on Fox News. Gidley did not say how much funding would be requested.
“I don’t have an announcement on the specific amount yet, but we need to combat this, we need to make sure our people are safe and the president is always going to take action to do that,” Gidley said.
But some other news outlets said the administration would ask for about $1 billion, even though some experts said that may not be enough. Adriane Casalotti, an official at the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said $1 billion won’t cover the effort, The Hill reported.
“By any measure, that would not be enough for a government-wide supplemental to make a meaningful impact,” Casalotti said. “Vaccine development alone needs way more than that.”
“A congressional aide, meanwhile, said the administration has indicated it will be sending a funding request in the coming days, but that no details have been provided on its size or content,” The Hill reported.
Coronavirus cases have surged globally in recent days. “Official figures released Monday showed there had been 409 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 150 new deaths from the outbreak in China by the end of Sunday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 77,150, with a cumulative death toll of 2,592. The majority of the new cases — 398 — were in Hubei province, as were all but one death,” The Washington Post reported.
The outbreak widened in other countries; South Korea announced Monday that it has 833 confirmed cases, seven of which have resulted in deaths. Afghanistan reported its first case. Kuwait, Iraq and Bahrain reported new cases, as well.
The coronavirus has arrived with force in Italy, with case numbers spiking almost hourly and the virus jumping from one region to the next across the country’s north.