Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) issued the following statement after voting in favor of an $8.3 billion funding package to combat coronavirus.
“America must act quickly to address the spread of coronavirus and protect those most vulnerable to the disease. I’m pleased that Congress was able to pass this emergency response package with bipartisan support and far above the funding levels requested by the Trump Administration. This package ensures all Americans’ access to treatment and vaccines, supports state and local government efforts to keep communities safe, and protects small businesses from the economic impact of this outbreak. As Nevada health authorities respond to the state’s first presumptive case of coronavirus, I’ll continue exercising strong oversight over this Administration’s response and fighting to prioritize public health funding in the Senate.”
The $8.3 billion in emergency funds passed by the Senate today includes:
- Over $3 billion for research, development, and review of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to help protect the health and safety of the American people;
- Over $2 billion to help federal, state, local, and tribal governments prevent, prepare, and respond to the crisis;
- $1.25 billion to combat coronavirus overseas to prevent and respond to wider spread of the virus;
- Nearly $1 billion for health care preparedness including pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for public health agencies and safety net providers;
- $1 billion in loan subsidies that would provide $7 billion in low-interest loans for small businesses impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak;
- An emergency telehealth waiver to enable telehealth services during this public health emergency, allowing Medicare beneficiaries to receive care from physicians and other practitioners in their homes. This provision is estimated to cost $500 million over 10 years.