White House Expected To Ask Congress For More Coronavirus Outbreak Response Funding; Trump Not Consulted Prior To Evacuation Of Infected Americans From Cruise Ship

FOX Business: White House to ask Congress for more money to fight coronavirus
“The Trump administration will ask Congress this week for more money to fight the deadly virus that originated in Wuhan, China, a source familiar with the matter told FOX Business. The exact amount of the request to Congress is unknown…” (Fordham, 2/23).

POLITICO: White House fears coronavirus could shape Trump’s 2020 fortunes
“The Trump administration is bracing for a possible coronavirus outbreak in the United States that could sicken thousands — straining the government’s public health response and threatening an economic slowdown in the heat of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. That stark realization has taken hold in high-level White House meetings, during which some administration officials have voiced concerns the coronavirus is already spreading undetected within U.S. borders, two officials told POLITICO. Though Trump in public has downplayed the virus, privately he has voiced his own anxieties, rebuking public health leaders over last week’s decision to fly home 14 Americans who tested positive for the virus while aboard a cruise ship off Japan, said three individuals with knowledge of the situation. Trump was worried that transporting the Americans to the United States without adequate precautions could create new risks, the individuals said…” (Diamond/Cancryn, 2/21).

Washington Post: Trump was not told coronavirus-infected Americans would be flown home from cruise ship
“President Trump grew furious with senior advisers [last] week over a decision to allow 14 Americans who tested positive for coronavirus to return to the United States from Japan after being assured that infected patients would remain in quarantine overseas, according to administration officials. … Trump was briefed on the decision and agreed that healthy passengers should not be on the plane with sick ones, three senior administration officials said. But the State Department and a top U.S. health official ultimately decided to bring back the 14 Americans who tested positive for the virus on the planes and place them in isolation — without informing the president first. … Administration officials are concerned that they might not be able to quarantine large numbers of people in the United States if a pandemic breaks out. There have been at least 10 meetings on quarantines in the past two weeks, administration officials said” (Abutaleb et al., 2/21).

Additional coverage of the U.S. government response to the coronavirus outbreak is available from The Hill (2), New York Times, Quartz, and Science Speaks.

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