House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., made a visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown on Monday to assuage concerns about the coronavirus as tourism to the city’s famed neighborhood has declined in recent weeks.
“We want to be vigilant to what is out there in other places. We want to be careful about how we deal with it,” Pelosi told reporters while touring the neighborhood. “But we do want to say to be people, ‘Come to Chinatown, we are careful safe, and come join us.’”
Pelosi’s trip comes as fears continue to mount in the United States as cases of the coronavirus rise around the globe. The virus has infected more than 79,000 people globally and caused more than 2,600 deaths, most of them in China.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that there are 53 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. These include 36 people who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, three people repatriated from China and 14 U.S. cases.
The White House is readying an urgent budget request to address the deadly coronavirus outbreak, whose rapid spread is spooking financial markets and restricting international travel.
The request is still being developed but is likely to come this week, a senior administration official confirmed Monday. The Department of Health and Human Services has already tapped into an emergency infectious disease rapid response fund and is seeking to transfer more than $130 million from other HHS accounts to combat the virus but is pressing for more.
“We need some funding here to make sure that we protect all Americans,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said on Fox News. ”We need to combat this, we need to make sure our people are safe and the president is always going to take action to do that.”
Senators returning to Washington after a weeklong recess will receive a classified briefing Tuesday morning on the government’s coronavirus response, a Senate aide said.
Among the needs is funding to reimburse the Pentagon, which is housing evacuees from China — who are required to undergo 14-day quarantines — at several military bases in California.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.