WASHINGTON —
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.

Democrats controlling the House wrote HHS Secretary Alex Azar earlier this month to request funds to help speed development of a coronavirus vaccine, expand laboratory capacity, and beef up screening efforts at U.S. entry points.

The White House budget office, led by Russell Vought, a stout conservative, is working with HHS to shape the request, with the agency seeking more than the White House is likely to approve. There is a receptive audience for the request on Capitol Hill, though stand-alone emergency spending bills can be tricky to pass since they are invariably a target for lawmakers seeking add-ons.

The quickly spreading virus has slammed the economy of China, where the virus originated, and caseloads are rapidly increasing in countries such as South Korea, Iran, and Italy.

The official required anonymity because the request is not public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

HHS reverses ObamaCare rule that included abortion, gender identity in sex discrimination protections

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews.com. The Department of Housing and Human Services finalized a regulation Friday reversing an ObamaCare rule that sought to protect transgender rights and abortion access.  The policy shift…

Watch live: Trump holds news conference after economic aid measures

President Trump is holding a news conference Monday after signing executive measures aimed at addressing the economic fallout from coronavirus but that may face challenges in court. On Saturday night, the president signed the measures that he claimed would halt…

As COVID-19 anxiety increases, so is Canadians’ trust in institutions: poll

In an atmosphere of heightened fears and concerns over the spread of COVID-19, a new poll suggests that Canadians are also becoming more trusting in official information sources and feel their governments at both the provincial and federal levels are…

Pennsylvania court strikes down law protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews.com. A state appeals court in Pennsylvania declared the federal law that protects gun manufacturers from certain lawsuits unconstitutional on Monday in a victory for gun-control proponents that…