Health officials warn Americans of possible coronavirus pandemic

Trump requests $2.5 billion to fight outbreak

DETROIT – Health officials said the United States is headed toward a possible coronavirus pandemic.

There are now 60 confirmed cases of the highly contagious illness in the U.S., up from 57 cases Tuesday. There are more than 81,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide.

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The increase in cases comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned that it is not a question of if there will be more cases of the virus in the U.S. but rather when.

“Even though it’s well-contained now, what’s going on in the rest of the world is making it look more and more like we will have something that either is or approaches a pandemic,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The National Institutes of Health said it will take a year to 18 months for a vaccine against coronavirus to be ready. In the meantime, President Donald Trump’s administration is asking Congress for $2.5 billion in emergency funding to prepare for the illness and speed up the development of a vaccine.

Capitol Hill critics say this isn’t enough money.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for $8.5 billion.

Read more about coronavirus here.

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