The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 advisory for South Korea, advising American citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to the Asian nation.
The travel advisory was issued as part of the latest global efforts to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus, or COVID-19, which has infected almost 80,000 people globally.
On Monday night, President Donald Trump requested $2.5 billion that he said will prepare the nation in case of an U.S. outbreak, as well as help other nations unprepared to handle the threat.
“We just asked for $2.5 billion on getting everything ready just in case something should happen and also helping other nations that really aren’t equipped to do it,” Trump said at a business forum in New Delhi.
Earlier Monday, the CDC confirmed 53 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. The new numbers include 36 recent evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The number of stateside cases remains at 14.
»MORE: CDC confirms 53 cases of coronavirus in U.S.
The White House budget office said the funding would be used for vaccine development, treatment and protective equipment, but the amount of the request was quickly slammed by Democrats as insufficient. The budget request came as coronavirus fears were credited with Monday’s 1,000-plus-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
»MORE: Dow plunges more than 1,000 points over coronavirus fears
The rapid spread of the virus and threat to the global economy has rocked financial markets, but Trump said he thinks China is getting the epidemic under control.
“They’ve had a rough patch and ... it looks like they’re getting it under control more and more,” Trump said. “They’re getting it more and more under control so I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away, but we lost almost 1,000 points yesterday on the (stock) market.”
»COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS
The funding request was released Monday evening and came as key government accounts were running low. The Department of Health and Human Services had already tapped into an emergency infectious disease rapid response fund and was seeking to transfer more than $130 million from other HHS accounts to combat the virus but is pressing for more.
The Trump administration is requesting $1.25 billion in new funding and wants to transfer $535 million more from an Ebola preparedness account that’s been a top priority of Democrats. It anticipates shifting money from other HHS accounts and other agencies to complete the $2.5 billion response plan.
The quickly spreading virus has slammed the economy of China, where the virus originated, and caseloads are rapidly increasing in countries such as South Korea, Iran and Italy. Almost 80,000 people have contracted the disease, with more than 2,500 deaths, mostly in China.