White House Sends $2.5B Emergency Coronavirus Plan To Congress; Democrats Say Request Insufficient

AP: White House unveils $2.5B emergency coronavirus plan
“The White House on Monday sent lawmakers an urgent $2.5 billion plan to address the deadly coronavirus outbreak, whose rapid spread and threat to the global economy rocked financial markets. … The administration is requesting $1.25 billion in new funding and wants to transfer $535 million more in funding from an Ebola preparedness account that’s been a top priority of Democrats. It anticipates shifting money from other HHS accounts and other agencies to complete the $2.5 billion response plan…” (Taylor, 2/25).

The Hill: White House asking Congress for $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus
“…However, the request met quick resistance from Democrats. Just $1.25 billion of the request is for new funding, with the rest requested to be taken from existing health programs, including $535 million from fighting Ebola. ‘The Trump administration’s request for emergency funding is woefully insufficient to protect Americans from the deadly coronavirus outbreak,’ said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)…” (Sullivan, 2/24).

New York Times: White House Asks Congress for Billions to Fight Coronavirus
“…Russell T. Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, said in a letter to Congress obtained by the New York Times that the funds would be spent on emergency medical supplies, lab testing, the development of vaccines, and other forms of monitoring, among other features. And it indicated that the Trump administration was prepared to send money to states helping with the national response…” (Weiland et al., 2/24).

POLITICO: Trump sending coronavirus budget request to Congress
“…More than $1 billion would go toward vaccine development, and the other funds would go toward stockpiling protective equipment like masks, according to the Office of Management and Budget. While the money is meant to be spent in 2020, the request contains language that would allow the spending to continue through 2021 if needed…” (Cook et al., 2/24).

Additional coverage of the White House funding request is available from The Hill and Reuters (2).