On March 5, the US Congress passed $8.3 billion in funding to help the government “prevent, prepare for, and respond to” the outbreak of the novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. President Donald J. Trump signed the bill on March 6. The amount of funding is far greater than the $2.5 billion that the Trump administration had originally requested.
The largest chunk will go into a fund set up in 1983 for emergency response. “We are heartened that the agencies are given flexibility to put these resources to their best use and that the public health and social services emergency fund was bolstered to support federal, state, and local response efforts,” says Ellie Dehoney, vice president of policy and advocacy at Research!America.
The spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, “should be a wake-up call—our nation lacks a well-resourced standing fund that can be tapped without delay in the event of public health emergencies like this one,” Dehoney says. “It is time to acknowledge the inevitability of outbreaks like COVID-19 and ensure reserve funding is available when the next threat emerges.”
Here is the funding provided to agencies that are part of the Department of Health and Human Services.