WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday signed an $8.3 billion measure to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak that has killed 12 people in the U.S. and infected more than 200.
The legislation provides federal public health agencies with money for vaccines, tests and potential treatments and helps state and local governments prepare and respond to the threat. The rapid spread of the virus has rocked financial markets, interrupted travel and threatens to affect everyday life in the United States.
Trump had planned to sign the bill during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. But he told reporters Friday that concerns were raised about “one person who was potentially infected” who worked at the CDC. Trump said the person has since tested negative for the new virus and that he still hopes to visit the agency at some point.
The Senate passed the $8.3 billion measure Thursday in a 96-1 vote (Sen. Rand Paul voted no) to help tackle the outbreak in hopes of reassuring a fearful public and accelerating the government’s response to the virus. Its rapid spread is threatening to upend everyday life in the U.S. and across the globe.