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Trump to detail US coronavirus efforts; Schumer seeks $8.5b for response

US President Donald Trump says he’ll discuss the coronavirus threat at a White House news conference Wednesday, a day after he sought to minimize fears of the virus spreading widely across the US.

Trump tweets that representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others, would join him at the late-afternoon appearance.

Trump and members of the administration have been sending mixed messages about the virus.

The CDC on Tuesday warned the American public to prepare for an an outbreak of the disease, which has spawned more than 80,000 cases around the world but relatively few so far in the US.

But before he flew home from India on Tuesday, Trump said the coronavirus situation is “very well under control in our country.” The administration has asked Congress for an additional $2.5 billion to speed development of a vaccine, support preparedness and response activities, and to gather needed equipment and supplies.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike have questioned whether the request is sufficient.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, on Wednesday unveils an $8.5 billion request to respond to the virus outbreak, more than triple Trump’s request. Schumer is asking for $4.5 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to work to contain the outbreak in the US, $1 billion to develop and manufacture a vaccine, $1 billion to help other countries battle the coronavirus, and $2 billion to reimburse states for costs incurred in tackling the outbreak.

AP

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