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Bipartisan congressional request for $26B to fund U.S. science

The next U.S. coronavirus legislation should include $26 billion to support science that is not directly related to COVID-19, a letter to the House leadership signed by over 175 members of Congress requests. “Congress must act to preserve our current scientific workforce and ensure that the U.S. is prepared to continue our global scientific leadership once this crisis ends.”

The letter, spearheaded by Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), warns that the closures of campuses and labs that aren’t working on COVID-19 puts the entire scientific enterprise at risk. “While Federal rules have allowed researchers to continue to receive their salaries from federal grant funding, their work has been stopped due to shuttered laboratories and facilities and many researchers are currently unable to make progress on their grants.”

The letter adds that many researchers have donated personal protective equipment to frontline healthcare workers and cancelled planned experiments. It calls for funding to sustain research support personnel, and pay salaries to graduate students, postdocs and research assistants who have been unable to complete their degrees becaue of pandemic-related shutdowns.

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