Trump administration seeks $2.5B to fight coronavirus spread

Peter Navarro on how US is fighting the spread of coronavirus

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro joins ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’

The Trump administration is asking Congress to approve $2.5 billion in funding to fight the deadly virus that originated in Wuhan, China, confirming an earlier FOX Business report that the White House would seek special money earmarked for the health crisis.

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Monday night the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a statement Monday.  OMB is targeting the funds are for vaccines, treatment, and protective equipment. 
The U.S. has suffered 53 confirmed cases of the virus as of Monday night.

By comparison, the Obama administration requested $4.64 billion for immediate response plus $1.54 billion as a Contingency Fund during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.


Last week, high-profile Senate Democrats including Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Dick Durbin sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar about the "failure so far to outline what additional resources [the administration] needs to respond to the rapidly developing coronavirus outbreak."

“We remain deeply concerned with the rapidly evolving 2019 Novel Coronavirus… While we appreciate the critical work happening at [HHS] and government-wide to respond to this emergency, the Administration has not been forthcoming about how much funding will be needed to respond to the outbreak," the senators wrote.

A security guard stands at the entrance to Yokohama port as the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship is seen in the background Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Associated Press citing a senate aide reported that senators returning to Washington after a weeklong recess will receive a classified briefing Tuesday morning on the government’s coronavirus response.

Earlier Monday, President Trump took to Twitter to defend his administration's efforts on defending against the virus.

The crisis has several government officials and some business executives examining the reliance of outsourcing productions of goods in China. The White House trade adviser Peter Navarro advocated for bringing home more of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain amid the coronavirus crisis in China.

"We've offshored far too much of our supply chain, not just for corona, but also for the essential medicines we need," Navarro said on "Sunday Morning Futures." "Same reasons we offshored a lot of our other stuff: it's a cheap labor environment, lax environment, and most of all, unfair trade practices."

He also downplayed the threat to the U.S. economy.

Satish Pillai, right, a medical officer for the CDC, speaks Tuesday Jan. 21, 2020, at a news conference in Shoreline, Wash., following the announcement that a man in Washington state is the first known person in the United States to catch a new type


"The American economy is extremely strong and not particularly vulnerable to what happens in China."

Authorities Monday reported the death toll had hit 2,663 among 76,936 cases in mainland China, mostly in the central province of Hubei.


Navarro said the Trump administration is focusing on ensuring the U.S. has access to protective gear like facemasks and supporting the race to develop treatment drugs and vaccines.

FOX Business' Blake Burman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This story was updated from a story published on Feb. 23.

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