US will spend $100 million to help China, others fight coronavirus

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington | | Updated: 2020-02-08 06

The United States announced on Friday that it stands ready to spend up to $100 million to assist China and other countries affected by the novel coronavirus epidemic.

“We encourage the rest of the world to match our commitment. Working together, we can have a profound impact to contain this growing threat,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

The State Department has facilitated the transportation of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to the Chinese people, including masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials, according to the statement.

He said the US government’s commitment would be met through existing funds “both directly and through multilateral organizations”, and the support, “along with the hundreds of millions generously donated by the American private sector, demonstrates strong US leadership in response to the outbreak”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Wednesday that a batch of supplies from the US had arrived in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic and capital of Central China’s Hubei province.

By Thursday, the virus outbreak had killed 636 people on the Chinese mainland, where the number of newly confirmed infections rose by 3,143, a second-consecutive daily slowdown, bringing the total to 31,161 cases, China’s national health authorities said.

Worldwide, about 240 cases have emerged in two dozen countries.