BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will seek $2.5 billion from Congress to fight the coronavirus epidemic and U.S. and South Korean militaries are considering scaling back joint training as the virus spreads in Europe and the Middle East. FILE PHOTO: A bus believed to carry the U.S. passengers of the cruise ship Diamond Princess, where dozens of passengers were tested positive for coronavirus, leaves the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan, February 17, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Countries around the world are stepping up efforts to prevent a pandemic of the flu-like virus that originated from China late last year and has now infected more than 80,000 people, 10 times more cases than the SARS coronavirus.
The White House said more than $1 billion of the requested virus budget would go toward developing a vaccine, while other funds would be used for therapeutics and the stockpiling of personal protective equipment such as masks.
The U.S. and South Korean militaries said on Monday they may cut back joint training due to mounting concerns about the spreading coronavirus, in one of the first concrete signs of the virus’s fallout on global U.S. military activities.
The disclosure came during a visit to the Pentagon by South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo, who acknowledged following talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper that 13 South Korean troops had tested positive for the virus.
“We do regard this situation as a serious one,” Jeong told a news conference, adding he had suspended military vacations […]