Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the passage of a $7.8 billion supplemental funding bill to help contain spread of the coronavirus, expand testing and accelerate efforts to develop a vaccine:
“The Senate today passed a funding bill to help meet the threat of the coronavirus. As we learn more about this virus – including that it can be transmitted weeks before symptoms become apparent – it’s imperative that we provide the federal government with all the resources it needs.
“California has already mobilized significant state and local resources to confront this virus. This bill not only reimburses states and cities for those efforts, it also helps fund their continued collaboration with federal agencies.
“The need for these funds is immediate. Right now a cruise ship is anchored off San Francisco that may have infected individuals aboard. Federal, state and local authorities may need to quarantine large numbers, and this bill will help that process happen smoothly.
“As California continues to respond to this virus, I will keep working to mobilize federal resources wherever needed.”
What the legislation includes:
- Vaccine development: $826 million will be devoted to developing and testing vaccines and other medical countermeasures for the coronavirus, a vital step to control its spread.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: $2.2 billion to help support state and local health departments, hospitals, research efforts and more. These funds will also go toward evacuating Americans from China, send CDC staff to affected areas and provide equipment and supplies – including protective equipment – to front line personnel.
- Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund: $3.1 billion will help the Department of Health and Human Services dedicate sufficient funds and resources to prepare for and respond to the coronavirus, including by ensuring that all health care workers have access to critical personal protective equipment.
- Department of State and USAID: $1.25 billion will help the global health community fight the coronavirus. Assisting in the global response is imperative to prevent the spread and long-term viability of this virus, and the United States is best equipped to lead this effort.
- State and local reimbursement: $1 billion will be set aside to reimburse state and local health departments and hospitals that are battling the coronavirus outbreak. Cities and states have already spent millions of dollars on personnel, lab equipment and supplies, and more funds will be needed for staff, hospitals and lab testing.