16:17 GMT02 December 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said in a statement on Thursday that she proposed legislation to divert funding used to build a border wall to a fund that will be used to battle the novel coronavirus.

    "Rather than use taxpayer dollars to pay for a monument to hate and division, my bill will help ensure that the federal government has the resources it needs to adequately respond to this emergency", Warren said in a statement in announcing her Prioritising Pandemic Prevention Act.

    Warren said the measure stipulates that all appropriated funds to build a wall on the US border with Mexico to be immediately transferred to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Agency for International Development for the purpose of combatting the novel coronavirus.

    On Wednesday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar told a Senate panel the Trump administration was seeking a $2.5 billion to fight the novel coronavirus, which has so far infected more than 50 people in the United States.

    Democrat lawmakers, however, criticised the allocation as woefully insufficient with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying the appropriators should instead write an $8.5 billion emergency spending bill to fight the viral outbreak.

    According to the latest data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60 cases of the novel coronavirus,  known as COVID-19, have been confirmed in the United States so far, namely in the states of Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, and Wisconsin.

    The US government has begun preparing for a potential novel coronavirus epidemic within the United States after reported outbreaks in Iran, South Korea and Italy escalated this week

    Tags:
    budget, Donald Trump, Mexico, funds, border wall, US Senator, Elizabeth Warren, US
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