WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – As concern around the coronavirus grows, the White House is trying to ease the fears of Americans.
“We will confront this challenge together,” President Donald Trump said Monday.
He is pledging to stay out in front of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We will continue to do exactly what we’re doing,” he added.
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with drug company executives at the White House.
“Today’s meeting is a reflection of the fact that this president understands that industry is a part of the one team in America that’s going to address the coronavirus in this country,” Pence said.
Also part of the team – the Defense Department. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley said military labs are working on a vaccine while commanders in the field are working to protect American troops.
“Access to bases is being restricted in certain places such as northern Italy and South Korea, for example,” Milley said.
But some in Congress are not confident the administration is doing enough to protect Americans.
“From day one, President Trump has mishandled the coronavirus,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) said.
Butterfield and South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) are criticizing the president for not asking Congress for enough money to fight the virus.
The White House asked for $2.5 billion.
“We need 6 to 8 billion dollars. And so that’s the difference in what he does and what needs to be done,” Clyburn said.
House and Senate leaders from both parties are working on a coronavirus funding bill. The House could vote on a plan as early as this week.
The White House plans to meet with representatives from the cruise and airline industries as the president heads to the CDC later this week.