U.S. Vice President Mike Pence promised that Americans would have access in the days ahead to more than 2,000 laboratories capable of processing coronavirus tests, and a leading expert said the country would launch a new phase of testing for the fast-spreading disease.

U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other economic officials to weigh possible actions to stem the fallout from a widening coronavirus outbreak, an administration official told Reuters.

While fears of a potential coronavirus or flu pandemic continue to grow across the globe, the White House is calling for a 16% cut to the budget of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as a 10% cut to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Chants of “H.R. 3” broke out in the House of Representatives chamber during the 2020 State of the Union Address as Democratic lawmakers urged action on the bill passed late last year that could impact the price of prescription medications paid for by government-funded health programs.

Prescription drug prices dropped 1 percent in 2018 – the first time such a drop has occurred in the United States in 45 years – driven primarily by a greater reliance on generic drugs and much slower increases in branded drugs, according to a government study.

Two weeks after the pharmaceutical industry predicted dire consequences for innovation if the prescription price reduction plan proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes, the White House echoed those concerns but suggested even worse outcomes than industry analysts predict.

PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan would be “devastating” to the industry.

The Trump administration scrapped a proposal for lowering prescription medicine prices, backing down from a policy that would have required health insurers to pass on billions of dollars in rebates they receive from drugmakers to Medicare patients.

The White House is expanding its war on opioid addiction with a $350 million addiction research and treatment initiative.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled an ambitious proposal to move all Americans into the government’s Medicare health insurance program.