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Top Republican Senator Accuses Trump Administration of 'Lowballing' Emergency Coronavirus Funding Request


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.

Watch below.

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.

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.