Finkenauer Votes to Provide Funding for Coronavirus Response
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) voted to provide $8.3 billion in emergency funding to address the public health threat posed by the coronavirus.
“While this is not a time to panic, we do know that folks in our community are worried and want to know professionals and experts are taking every step they can to keep people safe from the coronavirus,” Congresswoman Finkenauer said. “That’s why I voted today to put money into research for vaccines and treatments. Also, this package will help ensure our local health agencies have the resources they need to handle a response. I am proud the House is stepping up to properly this national response.”
The package passed by the House today includes:
- More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and testing;
- $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 abroad;
- $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.
Additionally, the bill provides this as new funding without pulling from money intended for other programs. It also 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.
Last week, in an effort to ensure local health officials are prepared, Finkenauer sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking for clarity on how local governments should prepare for a potential coronavirus outbreak.