Trump signed a bipartisan coronavirus spending bill. What does that get us?
On Friday, March 6, President Donald Trump signed an $8.3 billion spending bill that will help fund the U.S. response to the coronavirus outbreak. The bill received bipartisan support, and Delaware Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, all Democrats, voted in favor of the measure.
“I am extremely encouraged by how closely the Senate and House are coordinating on a bipartisan basis to address this outbreak,” Coons said in a statement. “This bill provides critical funding that will support our researchers as they pursue a vaccine, state and local officials as they do the challenging work to prepare on the ground, and health care providers and others on the front lines domestically and around the world.”
Trump asked Congress for $2.5 billion to combat the virus, but Democrats quickly said that amount would be insufficient and noted that it called for taking money from programs for the poor.
“We were proud to have passed bipartisan legislation last week to provide Delaware with a minimum of $4.5 million in additional funding to prepare for potential outbreaks from a total package of more than $8 billion to support our nationwide efforts to protect Americans and find a vaccine,” Delaware’s delegation said in a joint statement.
The emergency funding bill includes more than $3 billion dedicated to the research and development of vaccines, as well as therapeutics and diagnostics.
Additionally, the bill contained $2.2 billion in public health funding to aid in prevention and response, nearly $1 billion for medical supplies, healthcare preparedness, Community Health Centers and medical surge capacity and $1.25 billion to address coronavirus overseas.
“The $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus package approved today is an important step forward in our fight to address this growing health crisis,” Carper said in a statement. “As a recovering Governor, I know how important it is to get this critical funding to our state and local partners – the men and women who are on the front lines testing and treating patients every day – so that they have the resources they need to protect themselves and our communities.”