Elizabeth Warren proposes diverting border wall money to fight coronavirus

February 27, 2020, 5:58 PM UTC

Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has introduced legislation that would defund the Border Wall and divert that money to funding efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The move, called the Prioritizing Pandemic Prevention Act, would generate an estimated $10 billion in health care funding to combat COVID-19.

“The coronavirus outbreak poses serious health, diplomatic, and economic threats to the United States, and we must be prepared to confront it head-on,” said Warren in a statement. “Rather than use taxpayer dollars to pay for a monument to hate and division, my bill will help ensure that the federal government has the resources it needs to adequately respond to this emergency.”

Warren maintains the recent request for $2.5 billion in emergency funds by the administration is insufficient to deal with the outbreak, given the shutdown of government pandemic response teams and budget cuts to groups like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Security Council (NSC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Health and Human Services (HHS) in recent years. She also criticized the administration’s apparent plan to transfer $37 million to coronavirus efforts from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which funds heating for poor families.

The bill is unlikely to pass a vote in the Senate, given that body’s Republican control.

Warren’s bill comes on the heels of the first U.S. case of coronavirus that doesn’t have known ties to an existing outbreak.

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