Donald Trump is facing ridicule after claiming the coronavirus will likely disappear in April when "the heat comes in” as backlash grows over US border officials reportedly blasting a Native American burial site to make way for the border wall.
On Monday, Mr Trump seemingly attempted to mitigate fears of a global pandemic by telling the nation's governors in the White House State Dining Room: "The heat, generally speaking, kills this kind of virus." He said the US was "in very good shape" to handle the spread of the virus after the death toll surpassed 900 victims in China.
Meanwhile, the president was “basically trampling on the tribe’s history” in ordering the controlled blasting of the Native American burial site, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, who represents the district in question, told CBS News. Mr Trump was meanwhile seeking a reported $2bn (£1.5bn) to fund further construction of the wall in his $4.8 trillion (£3.7 trillion) budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year.
The president unveiled his $4.8 trillion budget on Monday, a massive document proposing dramatic cuts to safety net social programmes like Medicaid and Medicare, affordable housing and food stamps, while boosting billions of dollars to defence spending and construction of his long-promised border wall.
It also proposed more than $1 trillion in tax cuts, as the president faces a 2020 election fuelled by promises of a shrinking deficit and ending "wasteful" government spending, though the proposed cuts target vulnerable populations as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.
His budget proposal must first pass Congress.
The president also met with families of the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School as the largest high school mass shooting in US history nears its second anniversary on Friday.
A prominent gun control advocate who lost his 14-year-old daughter in the killing was not invited to the meeting, after he was removed from the State of the Union address last week, where he was the guest of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
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