U.S. Senate Strikes $10 Billion Deal on COVID-19 Relief

The United States Senate has struck a $10 billion deal on COVID-19 relief on April 4 after weeks of requests from the White House.

Senator Mitt Romney announced that senators have put forward a new bill to provide $10 billion in funding for “needed domestic COVID health response tools.”

The $10 billion will be set aside for the Department of Health and Human Services, $9.25 billion of which will be for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Of the $9.25 billion, not less than $5 billion will go to research, develop, manufacture, produce, purchase, and administer therapeutics, and not less than $750 million will go to research and clinical trials.

Another $10 billion in dollar-for-dollar offsets, which will be paid for by repurposing unspent COVID-19 funds, will be allocated for “therapeutics and urgent COVID needs.”

The package falls short of the initial $22.5 billion that the White House requested.

The package also does not include funding for the U.S. global vaccination program.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that the administration was “grateful” for the progress, but said that they “will continue to work with Congress to get all of the funding we need.”

Psaki also said that the administration “must continue our work to vaccinate the world both because it is the right thing to do, and also, because as it is critical to reducing the risk of new variants, which in turn is critical to the safety of the American people.”

It is not clear when the Senate will vote on the bill, which will need the support of 60 members to pass the Senate.

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