As the Coronavirus spreads through Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Europe, concerns are growing among Americans that an outbreak in the United States is becoming inevitable.
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases director, Dr. Nancy Messonier, told the New York Times, "It's not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country any more, but a question of when this will happen."
President Donald Trump, for his part, isn't too concerned.
The President said in a press conference during his recent visit to India:
"I think the whole situation will start working out."
Trump's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has requested $2.5 billion in emergency funding to obtain the masks, hospital ventilators, and other necessities to keep the spread of the virus at a minimum.
But lawmakers are warning that $2.5 billion isn't enough.
Among them? Republican Alabama Senator Richard Shelby.
Sen. Richard Shelby tells HHS Sec. Alex Azar that the Trump administration's coronavirus $2.5 billion emergency fun… https://t.co/jeGqU1f5bu— This Week (@This Week)1582648838.0
Shelby told HHS Secretary Alex Azar during a hearing on the request:
"It seems to me at the outset that this request for the money, the supplemental, is lowballing it, possibly, and you can't afford to do that. If you lowball something like this, you'll pay for it later."
The Washington Post recently reported that Trump fears taking strong precautions against the virus would hurt the stock market, whose numbers he frequently touts when making the case for his reelection.
Others agree that the Trump administration's response to the Coronavirus isn't rising to the threat its spread would pose.
I didn’t just criticize Pres. Trump’s pathetic, inadequate funding request I noted his incompetence, how he has no… https://t.co/qSvpekGnrh— Chuck Schumer (@Chuck Schumer)1582639662.0
The Coronavirus is not contained. It will not fade in the spring. Trump cut CDC by 9 percent. Trump eliminated the… https://t.co/S0McZgBMgM— Brian Schatz (@Brian Schatz)1582656698.0
President Trump has left the U.S. dangerously underprepared to face a public health crisis like a #coronavirus outb… https://t.co/xbfxG0FA5P— Chelsea Clinton (@Chelsea Clinton)1582656063.0
As we face a potential pandemic, the Trump administration's public statements are COMPLETELY INCOHERENT TRUMP TODA… https://t.co/ucPdrVMNcg— Judd Legum (@Judd Legum)1582652496.0
The @realDonaldTrump budget makes cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. @GOP supports whatever Tr… https://t.co/ULbYYGhsrO— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu)1582613640.0
Trump coronavirus containment plan: "Go buy stocks."— Walter Shaub (@Walter Shaub)1582639320.0
Trump continues to minimize the threat of the disease, claiming today that the administration is very close to a vaccine.
Officials have warned that a vaccine is at least a year from distribution.