WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — Lawmakers in 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,” said Texas Republican Will Hurd. “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 California Democrat Raul Luiz 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,” says Luiz.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says Congress needs to appropriate $8.5 billion to respond to the virus outbreak: three times more than what the President requested.