Senate to Receive Classified Coronavirus Briefing Tuesday as Trump Admin to Ask for Emergency Funding

The Senate is set to receive a classified briefing on the coronavirus outbreak that has spread to South Korea, Iran and Italy in the past week with dramatic increases in cases in each affected country. The Trump administration is reported to be asking for emergency funding from Congress to address the looming crisis even as the virus has been contained in the U.S. so far.

February 23 map of outbreak.

The stock market took a hit on Monday as investors were reportedly spooked by the spread of the virus. The Dow Jones closed down 3.56% at 27,960 having dropped 1,031 points.

The latest official global numbers on the virus are: 79,554 cases, 2,628 deaths, 25,214 recovered.

CNN’s Manu Raju and CBS’ Stephen Sanchez reported Monday afternoon on the Senate briefing:

“All senators will be briefed tomorrow in classified setting on Coronavirus, per Senate sources. They will hear from officials from a variety of agencies, including HHS, DHS, CDC, NIH and State. It comes as administration preps emergency funding request to deal with outbreak”

“Representatives from HHS, CDC, NIH and the State Department will conduct a classified briefing for all senators on the Coronavirus tomorrow morning, a senate source says.”

President Trump posted on Twitter from India Tuesday morning local time about the virus saying, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

Numerous outlets reported Monday the Trump administration is preparing to ask Congress in the coming days for emergency funding to deal with the virus but has not settled on an amount.

Excerpt from the Associated Press:

The White House is readying an urgent budget request to address the deadly coronavirus outbreak, whose rapid spread is spooking financial markets and restricting international travel.

The request is still being developed but is likely to come this week, a senior administration official confirmed Monday. The Department of Health and Human Services has already tapped into an emergency infectious disease rapid response fund and is seeking to transfer more than $130 million from other HHS accounts to combat the virus but is pressing for more.

“We need some funding here to make sure that we protect all Americans,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said on Fox News. ”We need to combat this, we need to make sure our people are safe and the president is always going to take action to do that.”

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