May 26, 2019

Beto on Trump's trade war: He's the arsonist who wants to be the firefighter

2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that when it comes to Trump's trade war and his latest round of aid for struggling farmers, the president is "both the arsonist who created this problem in the first place and the firefighter who wants the credit for addressing it."

"From listening to farmers that I've met all over this country, and especially in Iowa, they're not looking for bailouts. They want to connect with those markets that they have worked a lifetime to establish, markets that are now closed to them because of this trade war. ... In the short term, we absolutely have to make sure that they're OK. But we should never have been in this place in the first place."

Why it matters: Farmers are currently living through the worst economic crisis in nearly 30 years, an issue that has only been exacerbated by retaliatory tariffs stemming from Trump's trade war with China. The $16 billion aid package that the administration announced last week will likely not be sufficient if the trade war continues through 2020, as some experts have predicted.

Go deeper: Trump's trade war will be a major factor in the 2020 election

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Trump administration asks Congress for $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus

President Trump with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the White House in September. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Details: The request for a lump sum account for the Department of Health and Human Services includes $1.25 billion in new funds to fight COVID-19 and $535 would come from untouched funds for the Ebola virus.

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

The global scramble to contain the coronavirus

Taking precaution, in the Philippines. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

The coronavirus is spreading quickly in cities nowhere near Wuhan, China, and the window to prevent a global pandemic is narrowing.

Zoom in: Here's a look at what comes with a coronavirus outbreak in communities outside China that have been hardest hit so far.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World