U.S. Senate Democrats seeking at least $3.1 bln to battle coronavirus

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Washington, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst -

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress must pass legislation providing at least $3.1 billion in new funding to respond to concerns over the coronavirus, far beyond the Trump administration’s request, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday.

The $3.1 billion in additional money “is the amount our public health organizations say is necessary,” Schumer said in a Senate speech. Late on Monday, the Trump administration asked Congress to approve $2.5 billion to combat the spreading virus, with only $1.5 billion of that in new funding.

Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama