• Trump Administration has requested $2.5 Billion to fight the epidemic
  • Out of it $1 Billion will be spent on developing a new vaccine
  • U.S and South Korean joint military training put on hold due to virus outbreak

The U.S. and South Korean militaries might put a halt on their joint training due to Coronavirus spread in the Middle East and Europe. As the pandemic risks grow, U.S. President Donald Trump requested Congress to pledge $2.5 billion to fight against the global coronavirus epidemic.

The White House said that more than a billion dollars of the requested budget will be utilized for developing a new vaccine, whereas the remaining funds would be directed towards the stockpiling of masks and the use of therapeutics, Reuters reported.

“The Trump administration continues to take the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease very seriously. Today, the administration is transmitting to Congress a $2.5 billion supplemental funding plan to accelerate vaccine development, support preparedness and response activities and to procure much-needed equipment and supplies,” a statement released by the White House Monday said.

However, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said late on Monday that the requested amount of funding by the Trump administration was “undersized” and “completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency”.

“The House will swiftly advance a strong, strategic funding package that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis,” Pelosi said in a statement.

The coronavirus epidemic has stirred word-wide pandemonium, as the flu-like virus from China has infected more than 80,000 people. In one of the first visible signs of the virus' outbreak on U.S. military activities, the U.S. and South Korean militaries have put a hold on their joint military training due to the increase in the reported coronavirus patients.

The South Korean Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo, in his latest visit to the Pentagon, acknowledged his talks with the U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper that a total of 13 Korean troops had tested positive for the virus. Jeong also told a news conference that he regards this situation as a serious one, and has limited the movement of troops across the nation by suspending military vacations and off-base leaves.

Outside of China, South Korea has the most number of virus-related cases in Asia with a total number of 893 infected patients in the country.

Last monday, the U.S. military said that a 61-year-old woman in South Korea had tested positive for coronavirus, after visiting a U.S. military base in the southeastern city of Daegu. The military informed that the woman, who was the widow of a former U.S. service member, had visited a store in the Camp Walker area on Feb. 12 and 15.

This was the first case pertaining to coronavirus, which is being connected to the U.S. Forces Korea, which deploys a total of 28,500 American troops on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea has seen a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases
South Korea has seen a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases AFP / Jung Yeon-je