Trump Names Mike Pence to Lead Coronavirus Response


Moody’s Analytics predicted a 40 percent chance that the virus would grow into a global pandemic that would push the United States and the world into a recession. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he believed that “the stock market will recover; the economy is very strong.”

For a second day, Mr. Azar was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday defending his work, telling lawmakers that he was overseeing “the smoothest interagency process I’ve experienced in my 20 years of dealing with public health emergencies.”

He said that the C.D.C. had already exhausted the $105 million rapid-response fund that the federal government had been using in its initial response efforts. He has proposed shifting $136 million from other health programs to the coronavirus to replenish the government’s efforts.

A day earlier, he told a Senate panel that medical supplies were badly needed for the nation’s emergency stockpile, including 300 million masks for health care workers alone.

But on Wednesday, he faced bipartisan concern about the administration’s $2.5 billion request. Lawmakers from both parties have said the White House request is far short of what is needed and relies on the transfer of existing funds — including $535 million intended to counter the spread of the Ebola virus.

“These cuts are shameful,” Representative Anna G. Eshoo, Democrat of California, said Wednesday at a separate House hearing with Mr. Azar.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, proposed on Wednesday to increase the president’s emergency request drastically, to $8.5 billion in new funds, including$3 billion for a public health emergency fund, $1.5 billion for the C.D.C., $1 billion for vaccine development and $2 billion for reimbursing states and cities for efforts they have so far made to monitor and prepare for potential cases of the virus.

Mr. Trump said he would gladly accept the additional funds.

Reporting was contributed by Emily Cochrane, Maggie Haberman, Jim Tankersley, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Catie Edmondson, Eileen Sullivan and Carl Hulse.


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