White House requests $2.5B for COVID-19

The Trump administration has asked Congress for $1.8 billion in additional funding to address the COVID-19 outbreak, which would bring the total U.S. government commitment to $2.5 billion. Democrats in Congress are concerned that the request is insufficient; they could appropriate more funding.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the request runs through the end of the fiscal year, adding that the Trump administration will work with Congress on a separate appropriation for FY21, which begins Oct. 1.

In addition to public health measures, the funding will include investments in advanced R&D of new vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics; advanced manufacturing enhancements; and the Strategic National Stockpile.

The funding includes repurposing of resources originally intended for treating and preventing Ebola. “Tremendous progress has been made on Ebola and the current national response priority should be COVID-19,” Russell Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, stated in a letter sent to congressional leaders Monday evening.

Further analysis of the coronavirus crisis can be found at https://www.biocentury.com/coronavirus. The COVID-19 content is free to all who visit the site.

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