• Thomas Parker

Congress passes $8 billion coronavirus spending bill as virus spreads across the nation

This week, both the House and the Senate passed an emergency $8.3 billion spending bill with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The bill includes about $7.7 billion in new discretionary spending usable for vaccine development, equipment stockpiling, to bolster state and local health budgets, and other means of addressing the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The $8.3 billion spending package is significantly greater than the $2.5 billion requested by the Trump administration to address the issue.

President Trump signed the coronavirus spending bill on Friday morning, calling the coronavirus an "unforeseen problem."

"We have provided all the tests in the state of Washington and the state of California that they have asked for," said Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, as he stood next to President Trump while he signed the spending package into law.

"As many as four million tests" will be shipped next week, said Azar.

The total number of coronavirus cases passed 100,000 worldwide, with about 56,000 of those cases already having recovered. 3,400 people have died from the virus.

In the United States, the virus has spread across the west coast with now 74 confirmed cases in Washington, three cases in Oregon, and 69 cases in California. 14 Americans have now died from the virus.

Other states confirmed new coronavirus cases this week. Texas is now up to 16 cases, New York has 22 cases, and Florida has four cases. In total, 21 states have at least one infected person.

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