Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.
According to a March 4 press release from the office of Debbie Dingell, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) voted for the House package to provide $8.3 billion in robust funding to respond to the Coronavirus, including support for state and local health agencies, vaccine and treatment development, and loans for affected small business.
The legislation provides $8.3 billion in all new funding for a robust response to this public health emergency. That includes $950 million for state and local health agencies to conduct vital public health activities, including surveillance, laboratory testing, infection control, contact tracing, and mitigation.
According to the press release, “Direct and smart investments are some of the strongest tools we have to keep Americans safe from the Coronavirus,” said Dingell. “Each of us can take commonsense steps, such as Bump – don’t Shake, washing our hands, and staying home when you are sick. This emergency support will help Michigan and local health agencies be prepared for the virus and rapidly develop the vaccines and tests we need. There isn’t Democratic Coronavirus, or Republican Coronavirus, we must address Coronavirus together and treat it like the emergency it is. We must ensure our country has the resources and tools necessary to combat Coronavirus, without taking from other critical programs.”
Among its provisions, the emergency supplemental includes:
- More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics;
- $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, $950 million of which is to support state & local health agencies;
- Nearly $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity;
- $435 million to support health systems overseas to prevent, prepare, and respond to the coronavirus;
- $300 million to respond to humanitarian needs;
- $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions; and
- Allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses. This according to Wednesday's statement.
The emergency supplemental also contains other strong provisions to ensure a full response and keep Americans safe. The bill:
- Requires that funds are only used to fight the coronavirus and other infectious diseases;
- Allows seniors to access telemedicine services for coronavirus treatment;
- Helps ensure that vaccines and treatments for coronavirus are affordable; and
- Ensures that state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response.
Additionally, the bill includes a requirement to reimburse $136 million to important health accounts, including mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention and heating and cooling assistance for low-income families, that was transferred by the Trump administration to support its response. This according to the office of Congresswoman Dingell.