President Trump is requesting $2.5 billion in spending to fight the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Per CTVNews, China on Monday declared an immediate and “comprehensive” ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals, a practice believed responsible for the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The country’s top legislative committee approved a proposal “prohibiting the illegal wildlife trade, abolishing the bad habit of overconsumption of wildlife, and effectively protecting the lives and health of the people,” state television reported.
Previous temporary bans have been put in place, including after the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in 2002-03 and was also traced to wild animal consumption.
That prohibition was short-lived, however, and conservationists have long accused China of tolerating a cruel trade in wild animals as exotic menu items or for use in traditional medicines whose efficacy is not confirmed by science.
The decision was made by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), which oversees the country’s rubber-stamp legislature.
The coronavirus epidemic had highlighted “the prominent problem of excessive consumption of wild animals, and the huge hidden dangers to public health and safety,” said the report by China Central Television (CCTV).
Chinese health officials have said the virus likely emerged from a market in the central city of Wuhan that sold wild animals as food.
The coronavirus has killed 2,592 people in China, infected some 77,000 others and paralysed the country’s economy.
NY Post reports the Trump Administration on Monday night sent to Congress its $2.5 billion spending plan to fight the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The funds will be used to help develop a vaccine, as well as for treatment and protective equipment, according to The White House budget office, who sent the request.
The request calls for half of the spending plan to come from new funding. The remaining balance would be transferred from existing accounts, including $535 million from an Ebola preparedness account.
“We are also freeing up existing resources and allowing for greater flexibilities for response activities,” said White House budget office spokeswoman Rachel Semmel.
The funding request came as Sen. Chuck Schumer lashed out against the Trump administration, claiming they have “no plan” to fight the rapidly spreading virus.
“All of the warning lights are flashing bright red. We are staring down a potential pandemic and the administration has no plan,” said Schumer.