HHS Wants $30 Billion More in COVID Aid

Says U.S. is not prepared for what comes next. 

The Department of Health and Human Services needs at least $30 billion to keep its wide-ranging COVID-19 responses going, Secretary Xavier Becerra told congressional appropriators in charge of crafting a supplemental pandemic funding package. 

Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, the ranking member overseeing health funding in the Senate, said that Becerra talked to him and other lawmakers and staff about the administration’s hope that the funding would be part of the expected supplemental bill that rides alongside the 2022 omnibus legislators are currently crafting. 

An HHS spokesperson said Secretary Becerra and his team told legislators about “the need for additional resources to support securing more life saving treatments and vaccines, sustaining testing capacity, and investing in research and development of next-generation vaccines.”  

“These resources would help us continue expanding the tools the country needs to stay ahead of the virus and help move toward the time when COVID-19 will not disrupt our daily lives,” the spokesperson said. 

Many in the Senate, however, are skeptical that more funding is needed, citing the nation’s improving pandemic and economic outlook and the multiple rounds of federal aid Congress pumped out over the last two years, which some legislators contend has contributed to soaring inflation. 

Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama said, “We all know there’s a lot of money that hasn’t been spent. I’ve asked some staffers… to put together some numbers on that.” 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Senators as they work on the federal budget legislation.
  • For the secretary of Health and Human Services as he seeks funding for continued coronavirus measures.
  • For U.S. health officials navigating what some experts now call the “endemic” virus.

Sources: Politico, Washington Examiner 


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