Michigan Sen. Peters says new funding to help state prepare for coronavirus
FOX 2 - Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are continuing their fight to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"We passed an appropriations approved an $8.3 billion to help states across the country prepare for coronavirus, should it spread," said Sen. Gary Peters (D- Michigan).
The 96 to one vote comes one day after lawmakers in the House also gave approval to the emergency spending.
"Our focus here is to get testing out as quickly as possible," Peters said. "A test is available but we need to scale it up and provide more tests across the country."
Sen. Peters, a ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, believes the funding is a necessary component in helping to prevent an outbreak of the virus.
"Over the next few days there will be the ability to test roughly 600,000 to 700,000 Americans," Peters said. "We want to increase that number should the disease spread around the country."
The funding will also help maintain necessary medical supplies for medical workers.
"We do have medical supplies in inventory, like masks and gloves, these are primarily for healthcare professionals," said Peters.
Cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in several states in the United States including Washington state and New York - but not Michigan.
"But we need to be vigilant and I think it is important for all of us to continue to practice good hygiene and if you're sick, do not go out in public," he said. "We're hoping to keep it contained as much as possible which is why the money is being appropriated."