The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expects to spend up to $66 million to respond to the coronavirus, which has killed more people than SARS did, according to a notice DHS sent to Congress Sunday, reports The Hill.
The $66 million figure is more than half of the funds in the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which provides the agency money to respond to an outbreak immediately.
Thirty million dollars will be spent to evacuate more than 800 American citizens from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak is believed to have started, and screen, isolate and quarantine those individuals.
Thirty-six million dollars will be used by the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention to send staff to states where coronavirus cases have been confirmed and individuals are being quarantined.
Just 12 Americans have been infected with coronavirus, which has killed more than 900 people worldwide. The number of confirmed infections in China rose to 40,171, China’s National Health Commission said Monday.
The Trump administration earlier Sunday said it did not plan to request emergency funding from Congress to respond to the virus, though lawmakers argue it is better to be overprepared.
But HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Friday it was too early to talk about requesting emergency funding from Congress.
“It’s premature to be talking about any additional needs for money at this point. There are still so many unknowns about the situation,” Azar told reporters.
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