U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) voted today to pass a $8.3 billion emergency supplemental appropriations bill to address the coronavirus.
“Alabamians are rightfully worried about the Coronavirus, especially given the Trump Administration’s slow, unclear and inadequate response thus far. They deserve a coordinated, fully-funded response to ensure they and their loved ones stay safe,” Sewell said. “This emergency funding is critical to combatting this public health crisis, including the development of a vaccine, and I hope it is quickly considered in the Senate and signed into law.”
The emergency supplemental provides $8.3 billion in entirely new funding – not funding diverted from other critical public health priorities – to combat the coronavirus epidemic and keep Americans safe. It 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 and 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;
- $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions;
- $1.25 billion to address the coronavirus abroad to help keep Americans safe here at home; and
- Allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses, to help cushion the economic blow of this public health emergency.
The emergency supplemental also contains other strong provisions to ensure a full response. The bill:
- Allows seniors to access telemedicine services for coronavirus treatment;
- Requires the Trump administration to reimburse health accounts that were previously used to pay for the coronavirus response;
- Ensures state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response.
Text of the Coronavirus supplemental, H.R. 6074, is available here.