Mar 9, 2020 - Health

Pelosi and Schumer call for paid sick leave for coronavirus patients

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer at a news conference in the Capitol, May 15, 2019. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged the Trump administration to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus by stepping up workers' protections with a series of new measures.

Details: Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement the administration should introduce paid sick leave for those impacted by COVID-19, enable widespread and free coronavirus testing access, expand programs such as SNAP food stamps, and reimburse patients for noncovered costs related to the virus.

What they're saying: The top Democrats said in their statement they were pleased the bipartisan emergency response bill had passed and that they wanted to work with the Trump administration on a coordinated, government-wide plan to respond to the outbreak.

  • "However, President Trump continues to manufacture needless chaos within his administration and it is hampering the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak," they said in the statement, titled "Pelosi, Schumer to President Trump on Coronavirus Response: Put Health and Safety of American People Before Corporate Needs."
  • "In light of reports that the Trump administration is considering new tax cuts for major corporations impacted by the coronavirus, we are demanding that the administration prioritize the health and safety of American workers and their families over corporate interests."

The other side: Axios has contacted the Trump administration for comment. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told the Washington Post Friday the administration was weighing "'timely and targeted' federal interventions to help workers, businesses and industries most vulnerable economically to the outbreak."

  • Per The Hill, Kudlow also cautioned, "The story I am trying to tell is a story of timely and targeted microforms of assistance, not gargantuan, across-the-board, throw money at the problem, which has not worked in the past. Because we think that we will get out of this in months."

The big picture: Coronavirus has now infected more than 110,000 people globally — including over 500 in the United States, per data from Johns Hopkins and state health departments. The global death toll has risen to more than 3,800, with 21 deaths reported in the U.S.

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WHO official leads criticism of Trump's coronavirus response

President Trump with members of the new coronavirus task force at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Ezekiel Emanuel, special adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization, told MSNBC Wednesday he found "most" of what President Trump said at his briefing on the novel coronavirus "incoherent."

The big picture: As the number of confirmed cases reaches 60 in the U.S., the top health professional — who was a health policy adviser in the Obama administration — is among several leading figures, in particular, Democrats, to criticize the president for his response to the outbreak.

Go deeperArrowFeb 27, 2020 - Health

Pelosi: New coronavirus relief package may be ready this week

Nancy Pelosi during a news conference on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Monday that a second economic relief package to combat the coronavirus outbreak could be introduced as soon as this week.

The big picture: The package, outlined by Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Sunday, is an alternative plan to President Trump's economic proposal that would include a payroll tax cut and relief for hourly workers, which the top Democrats criticized for focusing on the stock market, rather than the outbreak.

Go deeperArrowMar 10, 2020 - Health

Trump suspends European travel to U.S. due to coronavirus

President Trump announced in an Oval Office address Wednesday that European travel to the U.S. will be restricted for 30 days, with exemptions for Americans who undergo screening upon their return.

The big picture: The U.S. now has more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus, with the likelihood that there are far more unknown cases due to major delays in testing.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 12, 2020 - Health