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Michigan Congressman says President Trump is treating coronavirus like a public relations problem

Eilien Dumon

U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint) says President Donald Trump is shortchanging the nation's response to coronavirus, and treating it like a public relations problem instead of a public health crisis.

He says the President's initial funding proposal was not nearly enough.

"The president seems to be willing to sacrifice public health because he doesn't want any perception that there's a crisis on his watch," says Kildee.

Kildee says the President also wants to take some of the funding for coronavirus programs from existing programs, including LIHEAP, a program that funds state programs to help low income people pay for heat. 

"He wants to transfer $37 million in the middle of winter out of the LIHEAP program," says Kildee. "And over $12 million out of the National Cancer Institute to help fund his response to coronavirus."

Michigan has received 90% of its federal LIHEAP allocation, and expects to receive about $17 million more.

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Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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