WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after Senate passage of a bipartisan, bicameral supplemental funding package that provides $7.7 billion in emergency discretionary funding to meet the growing challenge presented by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Americans are understandably on edge as more cases of the coronavirus appear in the U.S. and the death toll continues to rise around the globe. My colleagues and I understand this anxiety, and have come together to step up efforts to prevent the spread of the disease, treat those infected and support research to find a vaccine.
The emergency funding legislation passed by Congress will confront this challenge head on by providing a surge in funding at every level—local, state and federal—to allow for a government-wide approach. It allocates $7.767 billion—more than triple the administration’s original request—to address the coronavirus crisis.
Nearly 85 percent of this funding will be spent on domestic programs, ensuring that the focus remains on protecting Americans here at home, while still providing ample funding to fight the spread of the coronavirus abroad. Arkansas’s public health agencies are set to receive at least $6.2 million in funding as a result of this bill.
Our top priority must be keeping Americans safe. A potential massive outbreak is truly a national emergency. We are in a position to combat it, but federal, state and local agencies must be prepared for worst-case scenarios. Congress must be willing to provide the resources it takes to keep our country safe. I am committed to working with my colleagues to make sure that happens.”
Specifically, the emergency funding package appropriates:
- $2.2 billion for the CDC, including no less than $950 million to help state and local governments prevent and combat the spread of the coronavirus.
- $836 million for the NIH to train health care workers on the front lines and to develop diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines related to the virus.
- $61 million to support the Food and Drug Administration’s role in approving such products.
- $3.1 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. This money will used to supplement the Strategic National Stockpile; develop and purchase diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines; provide resources for community health centers; and help hospitals and health systems adapt and respond.
- Another $300 million for the purchase of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to ensure that all Americans will have access to the medications they need to combat COVID-19.
- $1.25 billion to the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development to continue working with our international partners to stop the global spread of COVID-19.