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Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposes raiding border wall funding for coronavirus response

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D – Massachussetts). Photo courtest U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren Facebook page.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Is shutting down work to secure the southern border of the United States the best way to fund the federal government’s work to combat an American coronavirus outbreak? Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for President, thinks so.

This week, Sen. Warren proposed legislation in the U.S. Senate to take the funding currently dedicated to building a southern border wall and re-purpose it for the federal coronavirus response. In a tweet, Warren called Trump’s border wall “racist” while promoting her legislation to take all the funds dedicated to building the wall and send them to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and United States Agency for International Development.

The response by liberal Democrats, including Warren, to the coronavirus has whipsawed in recent weeks.

At the end of January, the Trump administration announced the United State would temporarily bar visitors from China as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus into the United States. That policy is now being credited by many for buying the U.S. valuable time in preparing for the potential pandemic.

Former Vice President Joe Biden then criticized President Trump for “hysterical xenophobia and fearmongering” in implementing travel bans.

In response to Senator Warren’s proposal to end construction of the southern border wall to fight the coronavirus, Senator Ted Cruz had a succinct response on Twitter, asking, “How exactly would open borders protect us from the potential spread of a worldwide pandemic?”

U.S. health officials are doing all they can to prepare for what they see as likely outbreaks of the novel coronavirus, which presents symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, in the United States. The Trump administration and members of Congress have varying positions on the amount of funding needed to fully equip the U.S. for the virus, which has spread quickly in China.

In a press conference Wednesday, President Trump signaled a willingness to increase funding from the $2.5 billion his administration estimates will be needed if that is what Congress decides. Democrats have called for as much as $8.5 billion, but details on what that funding would go for have been vague.

President Trump also appointed Vice President Mike Pence to head up a federal task force of officials dealing with the coronavirus during his Wednesday press conference.

In a written statement on her proposal, Senator Warren suggests raiding the fund for the southern border wall would provide a $10 billion down payment, which is more than has been asked for even by Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate.

As state and local officials across the country put aside partisan differences in the interest of public health in preparing for a coronavirus outbreak some say is very likely, Senator Warren has seemed intent on politicizing the issue.

On top of introducing legislation to raid border wall funding for coronavirus response, Warren has fired off a number of tweets and statements criticizing health officials and questioning some of her favorite political targets, American banks, on their preparations.

Warren has gone so far as to introduce a written plan through her Presidential campaign and attack President Trump on the issue in a CNN town hall event, saying she wants to “take every dime” Trump would spend on the border wall and put it toward the coronavirus.

Allies of the President have countered criticism of the administration’s response by pointing to the fact that in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, Senators such as Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer largely ignored the outbreak. While the administration began taking action to protect the American public, Sens. Warren, Schumer and most Democrats were filling the airwaves of American media with impeachment attacks on President Trump.

They say that since day one, President Trump has been working to protect the American people and that his actions have mitigated what could have been a severe outbreak in America, especially if travel restrictions had not been put in place.

According to the CDC, immigrants arriving to the United States are required to receive a screening for inadmissible health conditions. By securing the southern border, immigration officials have said immigrants will be more likely to enter through an entry point where they can be screened and receive medical attention.