Coronavirus: 6 Things You Need To Know About The Response Package

According to the $8.3 billion in emergency funding in response to the coronavirus package that was recently passed, the deal currently in place would go towards the development of new treatment practices. It would also increase funding going towards the purchase of additional medical supplies, and finally shipping more than $400 million in grant funding that would go towards the individual states and municipalities within a 30 day period.

Vaccines Research & Treatment

The current funding deal as it stands would be sending $826 million to different organizations one of them being the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to drive the development of coronavirus vaccines, treatments and tests. The FDA would get $61 million to help with speeding up the review process for these new therapies and respond to possible drug and device shortages stemming from manufacturing disruptions at the virus’ epicenter in Asia.

Assistance To The States

The package would send $950 million in state and local grants, with half of the money due within 30 days. States will receive a minimum of $4 million.

The funding will assist greatly as coming up with a coronavirus response has been on the forefront of everyone’s do to list and has already put major stress on state and local health departments. They’re already spending money on staff, supplies and mandated quarantines. The legislation would allow for the federal government to reimburse states and counties for what they spent to prepare for and mitigate the virus starting from the date of Jan. 20 and whenever the funding package is enacted.

Stocking Up On Supplies

The package includes about $3.1 billion to purchase medical supplies for state and local health departments in order to strengthen the Strategic National Stockpile. It will also provide additional resources for states and assist federal efforts to develop vaccines and therapies that will assist with treatment, as well as hospital preparedness.

Another $300 million would help the government buy vaccines and treatments once they are approved. The legislation specifies that products purchased with these funds must meet federal acquisition guidance “on fair and reasonable pricing.” It also empowers the HHS secretary to ensure that any vaccines, drugs or diagnostic tests developed from funds provided by the bill “will be affordable in the commercial market.”

Localized Health Centers

Health centers spread out on the front lines of the smaller localities would get $100 million just as their funding is set to expire at the end of May. Another $10 million would go to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to put together trainings for health care workers on the front lines of the outbreak to avoid becoming infected.

Remote Health Services

The funding would also lift limitations on remote telehealth in order to make the service available to beneficiaries that could not otherwise seek assistance in conventional methods due to age limitations or mobility issues. This will also allow for these at risk patients to avoid areas like hospitals where they could come in contact with the virus. Some groups were hoping for a part of the deal to specify that it would waive restrictions during all national emergencies, but seems to be limited to just the coronavirus issue.

Worldwide Efforts

Funding in the sum of $300 million will go to continue the CDC’s programs to detect and provide assistance to international disease outbreaks, and $435 million for global health programs at the State Department. The State Department’s international disaster assistance fund would get $300 million to provide humanitarian aid and to deal with any health needs in countries where the coronavirus is spreading.

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