Congress will need to allocate much more money for a national fight against the coronavirus than the $2.5 billion initially sought by President Donald Trump, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said Friday.
"I would say short term, where we are right now, I think (Heath and Human Services) Sec. (Alex) Azar and others have been able to use resources we have in place for rapid response," the West Virginia Republican told Fox Business' "Mornings With Maria."
"We are looking at what greater resources are needed to go to states. I think $6 billion to $8 billion is probably where we are going to end up."
President Donald Trump said in his press conference about the outbreak earlier this week that "'whatever you give, we will take,'" said Capito, adding that she thinks lawmakers will take a "deep dive" next week to allow what is needed for a correct response at all stages.
Capito said she does think that it is an issue that the United States has been reliant on China for medical supplies, including active ingredients for prescription drugs, masks, and other equipment that will be needed.
"I think we need to have confidence here, in what is the most magnificent health system," said Capito. "I think we need not overreact here in terms of cleaning off the shelves."
The senator also said the initial fingerpointing from Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was "very disappointing," but she also noted that both have pulled back some from their initial criticisms about how Trump is handling the coronavirus emergency.
"I think they realized we are looking at a potential health crisis," said Capito. "We are looking at people's fears rising every day...I said put down your arms. We can do that on the Appropriations Committee, and we will."
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