Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday, Feb. 27, introduced a bill to redirect border wall funding to the coronavirus battle, blaming the Trump administration for responding inadequately to the threat.
Following the legislation, about $10 billion would be shifted from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), The Hill reported, citing Warren’s office.
“Rather than use taxpayer dollars to pay for a monument to hate and division, my bill will help ensure that the federal government has the resources it needs to adequately respond to this emergency,” Warren said in a statement.
The senator made her comments after the Trump administration announced early this week that it would ask Congress for at least $2.5 billion in supplemental budget to fight the viral coronavirus. However, Democratic lawmakers said the funding is insufficient and even labeled the president’s request “towering incompetence.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling for $8.5 billion in emergency funding to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the United States as other countries.
In a joint statement on Thursday, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged the government to do more to address the spread of the deadly coronavirus in a smart, strategic, and serious way.
“We stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion in Congress and with the administration to achieve this necessary goal,” they said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) defended President Trump, saying his administration’s figure is an initial request.
“It’s our job to ensure that funding is not a limiting factor as public health leaders and front-line medical professionals continue getting ready,” he said.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday that there is currently no reported community spread of coronavirus in the United States, and that it has taken unprecedented, aggressive efforts to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the virus.
The United States has confirmed 60 cases of of coronavirus as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University, while the total number of confirmed cases in the world reached nearly 84,000.