Uncertainty for Biden's Covid plan after spending bill aid cut

By May, she said, the current supply of monoclonal antibodies used to treat Covid will be “out of stock”. By July, the administration wi...


By May, she said, the current supply of monoclonal antibodies used to treat Covid will be “out of stock”. By July, the administration will run out of another antibody, Evusheld, which was recently licensed to prevent Covid in immunocompromised people. Money is needed this month, she said, to secure contracts with drug manufacturers so there is no disruption in deliveries.

“Let me be very clear,” Ms Psaki said. “It is an urgent request.”

Over the past two years, Congress has appropriated more than $370 billion in pandemic response funds to the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Most of this money has been directed to health care providers; less than half, or about $140 billion, was for tests, therapies and vaccines.

The administration’s spending chart, obtained by The New York Times, shows that all the money has been spent or is already planned. (This includes Trump administration spending.) The Biden administration originally asked Congress for $22.5 billion in additional pandemic aid, including $12 billion for the purchase of treatments and vaccines and $4.25 billion to support the global response to the pandemic; Congress reduced the request to $15.6 billion.

A White House spokesman, Kevin Munoz, warned Wednesday that if Congress does not appropriate more funds, there will be consequences beyond the loss of antibody treatments. He said testing capacity would decline in March and the fund that pays for Covid testing and treatment for tens of millions of uninsured Americans would run out of money in April.

“Failure to act now will have serious consequences for the American people,” Mr. Munoz said.

What happens next is unclear. House Democrats, shifting gears at the last minute, dropped a vote Wednesday night on a standalone bill to approve coronavirus aid, which would be partially offset by unspent pandemic funds without touching the state and local assistance. Unless the bill is paid in full, she faces a grim future in the Senate, where 10 Republican votes are needed to pass most bills.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Uncertainty for Biden's Covid plan after spending bill aid cut
Uncertainty for Biden's Covid plan after spending bill aid cut
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