President Donald Trump played down concerns about the Wuhan coronavirus during a Tuesday morning press conference, insisting, “the whole situation will start working out.”
Just a few hours later, officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the American public should prepare for the spread of the flu-like virus in the US and that it “might be bad.” While Trump said Tuesday that there were “probably 10” infected individuals in the US, the CDC declared 57 people have been diagnosed with the virus in the US. 
“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country any more but a question of when this will happen,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters. “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.” 
Democrats and even some Republicans began lashing out at the president and his administration’s response to the virus.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called Trump’s Monday request for $2.5 billion in emergency funding to combat the disease “long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency.”
The Trump administration hesitated for weeks to pursue the so-called supplemental, shifting course as COVID-19 accelerated outside of China on Monday and financial markets dropped sharply.
“Our state and local governments need serious funding to be ready to respond effectively to any outbreak in the U.S.,” Pelosi said. “The President should not be raiding money that Congress has appropriated for other life-or-death public health priorities.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Trump of having “no plan” to deal with the virus’ spread and argued he’s exhibiting “towering and dangerous incompetence.”
Democrats also attacked the president for cutting significant funding and staff from the federal government’s pandemic response teams, including the CDC’s global health division and the NSC’s global health security unit.
Sen. Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, called National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow’s claim — that the US has “contained” the virus —  “bad information” and “extraordinarily dangerous.”
Schatz accused Trump administration officials of lying about the severity of the threat posed by the virus to prevent further drops in the stock market. The market continued its drop on Tuesday after the S&P 500 fell 3.4% on Monday, the biggest drop in two years. 
“I cannot imagine anyone more ill equipped to prevent a global pandemic,” Schatz said of the president. “This is when having some knowledge of and respect for government and science is essential.”
Some Republican lawmakers also took issue with the Trump administration’s response.
Sen. John Kennedy of Tennessee accused Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf of not knowing enough about the virus’ spread in the US and the ways in which it can be contracted. 
Trump previously claimed that the coronavirus, which has infected a confirmed 77,000 people in mainland China, would naturally disappear in the spring “as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”
—Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) February 25, 2020
—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 25, 2020
—Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) February 25, 2020
—Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) February 25, 2020
—Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 25, 2020
—Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) February 25, 2020
—ABC News (@ABC) February 25, 2020
Gina Heeb contributed to this report.