Senator says White House turned down emergency coronavirus funding in early February
Added 03-29-20 03:11:02pm EST - “Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, says that Trump administration officials declined an offer of early Congressional funding assistance that he and other senators made during a meeting to discuss the coronavirus on Feb. 5.?” - News.yahoo.com
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WASHINGTON — Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, says that Trump administration officials declined an offer of early congressional funding assistance that he and other senators made on Feb. 5 during a meeting to discuss the coronavirus.
The officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, said they “didn’t need emergency funding, that they would be able to handle it within existing appropriations,” Murphy recalled in an interview with Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast.
On Feb. 5, Murphy tweeted: “Just left the Administration briefing on Coronavirus. Bottom line: they aren't taking this seriously enough. Notably, no request for ANY emergency funding, which is a big mistake. Local health systems need supplies, training, screening staff etc. And they need it now.”
Murphy told Yahoo News that the funding he and other congressional leaders wanted to allocate nearly two months ago would have paid for essential preventative measures, including hiring local screening and testing staff, researching a vaccine and treatments and the stockpiling of needed medical supplies.
“The consequences of that in Connecticut is that we're going to test less people today than we tested yesterday,” Murphy told “Skullduggery” hosts Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman. “And that means that there are lots of people who are positive who are not going to know it, who are then going to be in contact with other people, who are going to spread the disease.”
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