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28 February 2020 - 14:04
News ID: 449324
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Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called US President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus "shameful" and "anaemic".

RNA - The administration's response has already been criticised by politicians from both sides of the aisle, although the president has insisted his officials are doing a "great job" and blamed the Democrats and the media for "panicking the markets", The Independent reported.

Trump has requested $2.5bln to deal with the threat of the deadly virus, which would go towards developing a vaccine and stockpiling protective gear like face masks. However, the Democrats say it will cost at least $8.5bln to protect Americans from the deadly virus.

The president has also faced criticism for proposing to take $535mln out of a budget to fight ebola.

Pelosi stated that "this is shameful. He puts forth a proposal now that is meagre, anaemic in terms of addressing this. Ebola, we did $5bln. And now they're trying to take the ebola money and spend it here".

"What he's doing is late, too late, anaemic. Hopefully we came make up for the loss of time but we have to have professionals in place, resources that are adequate and not use scare tactics about people coming back to our country," she stressed.

Trump has said he will hold a news conference on how the government is dealing with the virus at 6 pm EST (11 pm GMT) on Wednesday afternoon.

Politico reported that the White House is considering whether to appoint a coronavirus czar to take control of efforts to contain the epidemic, as the Barack Obama administration did with ebola in 2014.

Alex Azar, the Secretary for Health and Human Services, is currently taking the lead on the crisis.

However, the president will be aware of ugly headlines following exchanges between another senior official – acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf – and senators including John Kennedy, a Republican. 

Trump official wrongly says coronavirus rate similar to flublican.

Wolf was unable to answer a series of questions about government preparedness and wrongly said the mortality rate from coronavirus, at about 2 percent, was the same as flu, which is about a hundred times lower.

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