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Trump says he's working with Congress to speed COVID-19 aid

Trump says he's working with Congress to speed COVID-19 aid
President Donald Trump tours the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health on Tuesday in Bethesda, Md. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

March 3 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday said his administration's working with Congress on legislation to speed up aid to communities affected by the coronavirus.

Speaking at the National Association of Counties legislative conference in Washington, D.C., he said he's also working closely with local jurisdictions to fight COVID-19. It has sickened more than 100 people in the United States and killed nine, all in Washington.

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Globally, more than 90,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed and more than 3,100 have died.

"Six weeks ago, eight weeks ago, you never heard of this. All of a sudden it's got the world aflutter," Trump said. "Things happen that you never would even think would happen."

He said health officials are working on therapeutic treatments for COVID-19. Doctors currently can only treat the symptoms of the disease. The president also said lawmakers are working to send aid to affected communities.

"We are working with Congress very closely to pass supplemental legislation that ensures state and county health departments get everything they need," he said. "I asked for $2.5 billion, and it looks like they're going to give us $8.5 billion. I don't think that's ever happened to me before."

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Trump is expected to participate in a roundtable coronavirus briefing at the National Institutes of Health on Friday at 2:30 p.m. EST.

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