Earlier reports that President Trump’s administration would request a paltry $1 billion to tackle the what might be the most severe infectious disease outbreak in modern history has been proven to be fake news.
The Hill is reporting that the White House is seeking $2.5 billion (or more) and Congressional Democrats are already planning to push that number higher. The Hill’s Peter Sullivan reports:
The Trump administration announced Monday night that it will ask Congress for “at least $2.5 billion” in additional funding to fight the coronavirus.
The request indicates that the administration is seeking to step up its response to the virus as it spreads to more countries.
However, the request met quick resistance from Democrats. Just $1.25 billion of the request is for new funding, with the rest requested to be taken from existing health programs, including $535 million from fighting Ebola.
“The Trump administration’s request for emergency funding is woefully insufficient to protect Americans from the deadly coronavirus outbreak,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).
She said the request would “raid money Congress has designated for other critical public health priorities” and still falls short of the total amount of funding needed.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) went farther, assailing President Trump’s response and calling the request “indicative of his towering incompetence.”
House Democrats said they would instead draft their own funding bill for the virus.