Congress Close To Approving Emergency Spending For COVID-19 Response; Outbreak Tests U.S. Government’s Readiness

Bloomberg: Virus Exposes U.S. Unreadiness, Testing Trump’s Grip on Crisis
“President Donald Trump insists his administration is ready for a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., yet reports of new cases in several states over the weekend will test his effort to project control over the spreading infection. With global markets sliding on concerns the virus could touch off a worldwide recession, Trump now faces the most serious challenge of his crisis-management skills — one that could imperil his bid for a second term. So far, he has painted any criticism of his handling of coronavirus as an attempt to undermine his presidency…” (Wingrove et al., 3/2).

The Hill: Congress closes in on deal for $7.5 billion in coronavirus funding
“…Negotiators and aides say they are on the precipice of a deal amid growing concerns of a widespread outbreak of the virus within the United States. The discussions are focused on providing $7.5 billion in funding to combat the coronavirus, one source familiar with the talks told The Hill. A second source said negotiators were looking at ‘approximately’ $7.5 billion, while noting that the figure wasn’t ‘set in stone,’ and that they expected the agreement to unveiled on Tuesday…” (Carney, 3/2).

Science Speaks: COVID-19: Groups urge Congress to provide emergency funding needed for domestic, global coronavirus responses
“A coalition of medical, health care, health policy, and other groups are calling on the United States Congress to swiftly and meaningfully fund emergency multifaceted domestic and international responses to contain the novel coronavirus…” (Barton, 3/2).

Additional coverage of the U.S. government response to the COVID-19 outbreak is available from The Hill (2) (3), NBC, POLITICO, Reuters, and Washington Post.