Congress Reaches Deal for $8.3 Billion in Emergency Coronavirus Funding

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The U.S. House and Senate reached a deal Wednesday to provide $8.3 billion in emergency funding to address the spread of coronavirus. The House will vote on the bill later Wednesday.

According to CNN, that $8.3 billion consists of $7.8 billion in new money and “another $500 million to replenish an account drained by the initial federal response.” The Washington Post details how that money will be spent:

The package would include more than $3 billion for the research and development of things such as vaccines, according to a House Democratic aide.

Other parts of the deal include $2.2 billion in new public health funding, and close to $1 billion for medical supplies, health-care preparedness and community health centers, among others. It would also appropriate $1.25 billion to address coronavirus risks in other countries, and allow $7 billion in low-interest Small Business Administration loans for companies impacted by the outbreak.

The appropriation is more than triple the $2.5 billion requested by the White House on February 24, but only half of what some experts have suggested is needed to beat back the spread of the virus. Chris Meekins, a former official in Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services, has called for $15 billion in funding.

Congress will race to pass the bill and send it to Trump’s desk as the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. climbs. There are now more than 120 cases across 16 states, with many more to come. Nine people have died from coronavirus in the U.S., all of them in Washington state.

Congress Reaches Deal on $8.3 Billion in Coronavirus Funding