WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted to approve $8 billion in funding to combat coronavirus.
“This funding will help us contain the coronavirus, treat those who may be impacted, and begin developing a long-term plan for future outbreaks. I’m very pleased that Congress, working with the White House, passed this aggressive package. This funding will make a difference on the ground in helping our local, state, and federal government in working to contain the coronavirus. Finally, I appreciate President Trump, Vice President Pence, and the entire team of medical professionals who are working tirelessly to keep Americans safe.”
Last week, Graham met with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Robert Redfield regarding the CDC response to recent developments in the coronavirus.
The emergency supplemental funding appropriates:
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): $2.2 billion to support federal, state, and local public health agencies ($950 million of which must go to support states, local, territories, and tribes—with $475 million or more allocated within 30 days). A general provision for reimbursing states and localities for costs incurred since January 20th is included.
- Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA): More than $2 billion to support R&D for vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and platform-based technologies.
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): $1 billion in allowable loan subsidies for the SBA to make available in order to assist small businesses, cooperatives, and nonprofits negatively impacted by the outbreak.
- Approximately $1.25 billion for State, USAID, and global health-related activities and supports.
- Approximately $1 billion for the procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to support preparedness, Community Health Centers (CHCs), and surge capacity.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH): $826 million to support R&D for vaccines, therapies, and diagnostics.
- $300 million in contingency funding for the procurement of vaccines, therapies, and diagnostics.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): $61 million to: a) facilitate the development of novel countermeasures, vaccines, devices, and therapies to combat the virus; b) monitor and mitigate potential supply chain disruptions; c) assist in enforcement efforts and emergency use authorization (EUA) review; and d) foster investment and innovation in advanced manufacturing methods.
- For tele-health, the bill allows the HHS Secretary to waive certain Medicare access restrictions.