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Congressman Tim Ryan Votes to Provide $8.3 Billion to Fight Coronavirus

March 5, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan today voted for legislation that would provide $8.3 billion to combat coronavirus, including $950 million in support for state and local health agencies to conduct vital public health activities including lab testing, infection control, and vaccine and treatment development. The legislation also allows small businesses impacted by the coronavirus to access low interest loans.

“This legislation will give our nation the resources it needs to respond to the coronavirus,” said Congressman Ryan. “The coronavirus poses a very real threat to Americans across the country and the government needs to have the funds necessary to halt the spread of this virus and ensure those impacted receive the best care possible.”

The legislation came one day after Congressman Ryan and 60 of his House colleagues wrote a letter urging President Trump to make swift changes to increase the effectiveness of the Administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. They also offered to work constructively with the Administration, but stressed that lives depend on the President and his team showing stronger leadership on this issue.  (Full letter here)

House Democrats have made a commitment to lowering drug costs and this legislation provides $300 million to purchase vaccines at a fair and reasonable price. This legislation also provides seniors access to telemedicine services, requires the Administration to reimburse health accounts for money previously transferred to pay for the coronavirus response, and ensures that state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response.

Legislation provides more than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to prevent or treat the effects of coronavirus, including:

  • More than $2 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support advanced research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, prioritizing platform-based technologies with U.S.-based manufacturing capabilities.
  • $826 million for the National Institutes of Health to support basic research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
  • $300 million in contingency funding for procurement of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

Legislation also provides $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity:

  • Approximately $500 million for procurement of pharmaceuticals, masks, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies, which can be distributed to state and local health agencies in areas with a shortage of medical supplies.

Congressman Ryan is calling on the Senate and the President to pass and sign this legislation as quickly as possible so the American people are adequately protected.