WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today released the following statement after the House passed $8.3 billion in emergency supplemental funding to help address the coronavirus outbreak.
“Congress has an obligation to take swift and decisive action to combat the threat posed by coronavirus,” said Rep. Gallagher. “This bill provides necessary resources to the federal, state, and local officials on the front lines of this fight, and will bolster the entire government’s ability to identify, respond to, and treat those infected. Our role here is not done, and we have to continue to aggressively do all we can to keep Americans safe.”
The supplemental package includes:
- More than $4 billion to make diagnostic tests more broadly available, support treatments to ease the symptoms of those infected with the virus, and to invest in vaccine development and to procure vaccines when they are available
- $2.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a robust response, including nearly $1 billion exclusively for state and local response efforts and $300 million for CDC’s Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund
- $20 million to administer disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by the virus
- $1.25 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to protect Americans abroad and prevent the spread of the virus worldwide, including $264 million to evacuate Americans and maintain consular operations overseas and $200 million for USAID’s Emergency Response Fund to prevent the spread of illness and infection before it reaches U.S. soil
Rep. Gallagher has supported an aggressive response to the outbreak. He called for a targeted travel ban to China in January, and has supported the Administration’s efforts to restrict travel to other high-risk countries. Amidst reports of potential shortages for critical medicines and supplies as a result of the outbreak, Rep. Gallagher and Rep. Pocan also introduced H.R. 6049, the Medical Supply Chain Security Act, to secure our medical supply chains and decrease our reliance on foreign countries for critical lifesaving medicines and supplies. The package that passed the House today echoes the sentiment of H.R. 6049 and makes funds available for the FDA to protect the integrity of medical products manufactured overseas and help them identify and prevent potential shortages.