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U.S. House passes bill to fund prevention and containment of Coronavirus

Amata and other Members, in this photo, are being briefed by Vice President Pence on national health efforts
Sources: Media release from Cong. Aumua Amata's office

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed bipartisan House passage on Wednesday of an $8 billion supplemental emergency funding package for comprehensive prevention and containment of COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus.

“This bipartisan emergency supplemental funding will support all aspects of the coronavirus effort,” said Aumua Amata. “I appreciated an opportunity today for a briefing of Members of Congress by Vice President Pence on all the work that is being done on this important issue. This bill funds the purchase of protective equipment, vaccine development, and aid as needed to state and territorial governments. These funds are a priority. Resources must be available to respond anywhere, and strongly support our medical professionals. Communities like American Samoa are already preparing, and I commend the Governor and his task force for their efforts locally in taking precautions.”

H.R. 6074, Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, includes $1 billion for state, territorial and local response efforts, within the $2.2 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent, prepare and respond.

The bill also specifies $1.25 billion to protect Americans abroad through the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), including funds to evacuate Americans and respond to emerging health threats before they reach the United States. Another $20 million will assist small businesses with disaster loans.

Finally, about half of the funds, $4 billion, will support treatments, diagnostic testing, vaccine development and later procurement, along with efforts to safeguard medical products and prevent shortages.