White House, Congress negotiate additional coronavirus recovery funding

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WASHINGTON- (CBS) “It would be nice to be able to open with a big bang and open up our country,” said President Trump.

The President says meetings will begin soon on how to reopen the country after the coronavirus outbreak subsides.

Meanwhile, the CDC issues new guidelines on how to get some critical infrastructure workers back on the job.

“We’ve really looked at the essential workforce and how to maintain that workforce, particularly at this time,” said Robert Redfield, CDC Director.

The Vice President held separate conference calls with House Republicans and Democrats on the coronavirus response, as the Trump Administration seeks congressional approval of an additional $250 billion for its small business loan program.

“There are a lot of people working really hard to make this thing work, and hopefully tomorrow more money will be put into the program as well so that no one is left behind,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, (R) Florida.

Congressional Democrats are also calling for an extra $250 billion– on top of the small business loans request — for health care centers and state and local governments, as well as an increase to snap benefits.

“Hopefully it’s going to be bipartisan. We do not have time for the partisan games and we don’t want that, the obstruction, and totally unrelated agendas,” said President Trump.

Tuesday, the President blamed the World Health Organization for the slow response to the coronavirus crisis — and he threatened to freeze its funding.

Wednesday, the WHO responded.

“No need to use COVID to score political points,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“There’ll be a lot of time to look back and see how the World Health Organization performed. In the meantime, what our task is– is to protect and preserve the American taxpayers,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

When asked if China withheld information and possible consequences, the Secretary of State said now is not the time for retribution, but for clarity and transparency on the spread of the virus.

 Pompeo says his agency has brought home about 50,000 Americans who were stranded abroad as countries shuttered their borders, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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