WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States needs funds to finance a response to the coronavirus, a White House spokesman said on Monday, without directly confirming reports the administration was preparing to ask Congress to approve an emergency spending package.

“We need some funding here to make sure that we … protect all Americans, that we keep us safe,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News Channel.

Asked how much money the White House may ask Congress to approve, Gidley said: “I don’t have an announcement on the specific amount yet, but we need to combat this.”

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Doina Chiacu)