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Officials say more money is needed on antibodies treatmentprophylactic pills and to fund test sites.
“On the part of COVID, the bank account is empty,” said COVID-19 Deputy Coordinator Natalie Quillian. said. “We are in talks with lawmakers on how to secure funding, but it is urgently needed.” Some of the effects could be felt later this month.
“This is an urgent request, and this is what is at stake in our fight against COVID,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday.
A request Sent to Congress from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) demands $ 22.5 million for the urgent need to respond to COVID-19 with a request for $ 10 billion to support Ukraine the following Russian invasion.
“I urge Congress to address these critical and urgent needs through a comprehensive public funding bill before the March 11 funding deadline,” OMB acting director Shaland Young said in a letter Wednesday, noting that “additional needs may arise over time.” due to the “rapidly evolving situation in Ukraine.”
The Biden The administration has warned that manufacturers testing on COVID-19 will begin to slow down the production of rapid tests at home this month – unless the federal government signs contracts to purchase more.
This month, the Administration of Health Resources and Services will be forced to begin curtailing claims for COVID-19 treatment for uninsured people in Congress giving no more money. U.S. government stockpiles of monoclonal antibodies will run out in May.
“These resources are needed immediately in order to immediately ensure the supply of highly effective oral antivirals; for the acquisition of monoclonal antibodies and prophylaxis before contact; to continue important testing initiatives and funding testing, and treatment vaccines for the uninsured; start work on a new generation vaccine that protects against future options; accelerate global vaccination efforts and provide urgent humanitarian assistance abroad; and for other purposes, ”Young said.
If regulators administer the Pfizer vaccine to children under 5 in three doses, or if they determine that children aged 5-11 should receive stimulation, administrations will need more money.
However, lawmakers have struggled to reach an agreement on spending for the current fiscal year and Republicans expressed concern about how much money will be spent on relief from the pandemic.
“Oh, no, that’s too much,” Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby said Thursday when asked about a $ 22.5 billion request from the administration. “And secondly, we want to see how much money there is” that has not yet been spent from the previously approved funding of COVID-19.
Utah senator Mitt Romney and 35 other Republican parties senators wrote to President Biden on Tuesday stating that they want a “full account” of how the government spent the funds that had already been provided before maintaining the new money.
Now the White House says it is open to studying the redistribution of already approved, unspent money – and the potential transfer of the cost of injections and pills to insurers. But, it is stressed that the priority should be to continue to meet needs.
“We are sensible about our urgent request, but we know that more will be needed,” Quillian said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic. According to a table by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), accounts for assistance in connection with COVID-19 contained $ 370 billion for public health programs. received The Associated Press, of which $ 355 billion is currently being spent, has been spent or has been contracted.
“$ 22 billion in COVID is absolutely necessary; in fact, we will probably need more, because we need more treatments,” said the speaker of the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi said at her weekly news conference.
Pelosi said she hopes Republicans “will see the wisdom of science on what we need to do in terms of COVID.” according to in The New York Times.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.