China, U.S. Presidents Speak About Ongoing Coronavirus Outbreak; Democratic Senators Call For Emergency Funding For U.S. Domestic Response

AFP: China’s Xi urges more protection for medical workers after deaths
“China’s President Xi Jinping called Wednesday for greater protection of medical staff fighting the new coronavirus after the deaths of prominent doctors sparked national anger at the government’s handling of the outbreak. At least seven medical workers have died from the virus, while 1,716 have been confirmed as infected, most at the epicenter of the epidemic in central Hubei province where hospitals have dealt with a huge influx of patients…” (2/19).

The Hill: Democratic senators urge Trump administration to request emergency funding for coronavirus response
“Senate Democrats are urging the Trump administration to request emergency funding from Congress to respond to the coronavirus. In a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney, 25 Senate Democrats said they have heard concerns from state and local public health departments that are facing additional costs from responding to the outbreak…” (Hellmann, 2/19).

The Hill: Senate Health Committee announces hearing on U.S. coronavirus response
“The Senate Health Committee on Wednesday announced a hearing on the U.S. response to the coronavirus spreading across China and other countries. The hearing will be March 3 and feature officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health, and Food and Drug Administration, the committee said…” (Sullivan, 2/19).

Reuters: Trump: “Confident China is trying very hard” in handling coronavirus outbreak
“U.S. President Donald Trump is confident that China is ‘trying very hard’ in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, he said in a television interview late on Wednesday…” (Singh, 2/20).

Additional coverage is available from the AP, New York Times, and Reuters.