WASHINGTON (Covering Katy News) - Local Congressman Pete Olson voted today for $8.3 billion in emergency funding to provide critical funds to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and support efforts to find a vaccine and cure.
“Given the global economy we live in, swift action to contain and address coronavirus was necessary,” Congressman Pete Olson said. “I was pleased to vote Yes on a clean funding bill that provides needed resources to coordinate federal, state and local action to combat coronavirus."
Coronavirus (COVID-19), a newly identified virus with flu-like symptoms, has been spreading rapidly around the world. Although cases in the United States are currently limited, the lack of a cure or vaccine necessitated federal action in order to prepare the United States for any potential uptick in cases.
"As medical professionals around the world work to find a cure, I’m pleased that we were able to work in a bi-partisan fashion to prepare our communities and empower healthcare providers to keep Americans healthy," Olson said.
The supplemental package passed today by the House of Representatives included:
More than $4 billion to make diagnostic tests more broadly available; to support treatments to ease the symptoms of those infected with the virus; and to invest in vaccine development and to procure vaccines when they are available. Funds are also made available for the Food and Drug Administration to protect the integrity of medical products manufactured overseas and identify and prevent potential shortages.
$2.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a robust response, including:
Nearly $1 billion exclusively for state and local response efforts.
$300 million for CDC’s Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund to prevent, prepare for respond to diseases – keeping our nation prepared and positioned for any health threat.
$20 million to administer disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by the virus.
$1.25 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to protect Americans abroad and prevent the spread of the virus worldwide, including $264 million to evacuate Americans and maintain consular operations overseas.
$200 million for USAID’s Emergency Response Fund to prepare for and respond to emerging health threats — working to prevent the spread of illness and infections before it reaches U.S. soil.