By Julia Musto | Fox News
The American people will become increasingly frustrated if coronavirus becomes politicized, “Outnumbered” co-host Melissa Francis said Wednesday.
Appearing on the “Outnumbered” couch with co-host Harris Faulkner, “The Story” host Martha MacCallum, Fox Business’s Dagen McDowell, and Democratic strategist Jon Summers, Francis reacted to Democrats questioning how the emergency funding requested by the Trump administration would be used.
“If you don’t know what’s going to happen to it you say, ‘Here, I’m going to give you a little bit at a time and let’s see how you use it, and then you can come back if you need more,'” she stated.
TRUMP TO DISCUSS CORONAVIRUS AT WEDNESDAY EVENING NEWS CONFERENCE
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., criticized the White House’s handling of the outbreak on the Senate floor on Tuesday, calling its efforts “towering and dangerous incompetence.” He was responding to the administration’s request to Congress on Monday for $2.5 billion in supplemental spending to help combat the global outbreak.
Republicans then took turns accusing Schumer of politicizing the crisis, which has now sickened over 80,000 worldwide and killed over 2,700 people.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
On Wednesday morning, Schumer requested $8.5 billion in emergency funding to combat the spread of the virus.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters Wednesday that he agreed the administration’s previous request was insufficient — although not providing specific figures — adding that “nobody is reveling in what’s happening.”
Later in the day, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar told the House Appropriations Committee that he would not hesitate to ask for more money if needed. Additionally, Azar is now saying the administration is asking for “at least” $2.5 billion, although the actual amount is up to Congress.
Support for raising the amount of money requested on the Committee is now bipartisan.
Thus far the United States has recorded just 57 cases, with 40 of them connected to the Diamond Princess cruise ship which had docked in Japan.
However, with fears of a pandemic, federal health officials starkly warned that hospitals, businesses, and schools should be making preparations in anticipation of the spread of the disease.
“I think it does go to that thing where you just know that whatever happens, the other side is going to criticize,” Francis said.
“And, I think if the president had been, you know, more panicked or looked like — they say he’s not responding. They would have said he was trying to suppress the primary vote and scare people to not go to the polls in the Democratic primary,” she theorized.
“I mean, I think it could have come to that and it does make people at home just very frustrated,” Francis concluded.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Brie Stimson, and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox News Digital.
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