(Washington, DC-AP) – CDC officials say a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. appears inevitable. After closed briefings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill today, Dr. Nancy Messonnier spoke with news reporters and said it’s not a matter of if but when.
The U.S. has 53 confirmed cases, including 36 people evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Alex Azar is facing more heat over the growing coronavirus threat. During a House hearing, Azar defended the Trump administration’s request for two-point-five-billion-dollars in emergency funding to prepare for the coronavirus.
Democrats have called it too little, too late. New York Democrat Nita Lowey criticized the Trump administration for budget cuts in U.S. global health programs, including at the CDC. She called it disastrous.
Azar said the emergency funding request is flexible and stressed that more money could be requested later, if necessary. Meantime, Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole said the threat of a global pandemic is more serious than a major terrorist attack.