President Donald Trump has donated his quarterly salary to aid in the efforts to "confront, contain and combat" the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
Press secretary Stephanie Grisham announced in a tweet that Trump had donated his salary to Health and Human Services (HHS).
Trump had previously committed to donating his quarterly salary of $100,000 while he was in office. During his time in office, he has donated his salary to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Veterans Affairs, among others. In November of 2019, he donated his third quarter salary to help fight the opioid crisis.
Meanwhile, lawmakers were finalizing a $7.5 billion emergency bill to fund the government's response to the virus. Sen. Chuck Schumer, a critic of Trump, said he's expecting a bipartisan deal among lawmakers on the House and Senate Appropriations committees later Tuesday in hopes of clearing the measure through Congress by week's end.
The $7.5 billion package would triple Trump's request but is expected to enjoy support from both the White House and Trump's GOP allies on Capitol Hill. Schumer said “when it comes to Americans’ health and safety, there is no reason to be penny-wise and pound-foolish."
COVID-19 has infected more than 90,000 people worldwide and killed more than 3,100 as of March 3. In the U.S, 108 people have been infected. The 108 U.S. cases include 45 people who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship briefly quarantined in Japan, three people repatriated to the U.S. from China, and 60 other U.S. cases. Eight people have died from the virus, all of whom lived in the state of Washington.
To put the coronavirus numbers in context, millions of Americans get the flu every single year and there are thousands of flu deaths annually.Since October 2019, the CDC estimates around 32 million Americans have gotten the flu. That’s one in every 10 Americans.