PRESIDENT Donald Trump will address the nation tonight about how the U.S. is handling the global outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.
Trump is scheduled to speak around 6.30pm from the White House’s press briefing room with experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Earlier Wednesday, he pushed back against criticism that the Trump administration isn’t doing enough about the coronavirus threat.
A new case of the virus was reported in the U.S. today, bringing the tally to 60.
Worldwide, thousands of people have died and more than 81,000 people have been infected.
On Tuesday, the CDC warned Americans to prepare for an outbreak, adding urgency to response efforts.
“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, of the CDC, told reporters.
She added there is also a question of “how many people in this country will have severe illness.”
The warning came after Trump, before flying home from a trip to India on Tuesday, said the coronavirus situation was “very well under control in our country.”
But behind the scenes, he's reportedly been upset about several facets of the response, which has led to a stock market sag that's particularly concerned the president.
The Trump administration asked Congress for $2.5 billion to speed the development of a vaccine, support preparedness and response activities, and to gather needed equipment and supplies.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, asked for $8.5 billion for emergency funding to combat the deadly disease — more than triple Trump’s request.
Schumer said the funds would be given to health agencies, including the CDC, and go towards rapid virus development to fight the incurable sickness.
The number includes $4.5 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to work to contain the outbreak in the U.S. and $1 billion to develop and manufacture a vaccine.
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It would also include $1 billion to help other countries battle the coronavirus, and $2 billion to reimburse states for costs incurred in tackling the outbreak.
When he returned home from India, Trump pushed back against critics who say he should have acted sooner to strengthen the federal response to the virus.
On Monday it was reported that more than 80 people in New York's Nassau County were under self-quarantine for possible exposure to the coronavirus.
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