US lawmakers approved an emergency plan, providing US$8.3 billion to combat the spread of the disease.
The US is throwing its support behind the relief for the increasing threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus global outbreak.
On Wednesday (March 4), the US federal power approved an emergency plan making available US$8.3 billion to be provided in combating the disease spreading.
According to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, 85 percent of the funding will be used domestically.
The funding comes after days of negotiations on Capitol Hill as the concerns about the virus spreading across the US have grown.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that 80 cases of the flu-like COVID-19 illness have been reported in the US across 13 different states.
“This should not be about politics; this is about doing our job to protect the American people from a potential pandemic,” Shelby said.
The bill includes over US$3 billion for research and developing vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic tests, as well as US$2.2 billion of public health funding for prevention and preparedness efforts. US$1.25 billion will be used to address the disease abroad and about US$1 billion will go towards medical supplies and medical surge capacity.
“We worked together to craft an aggressive and comprehensive response that provides the resources the experts say they need to combat this crisis,” Shelby added.
A Democratic House aide said the emergency bill also provides more than US$300 million to “help ensure that, when a vaccine is developed, Americans can receive it regardless of their ability to pay,” according to a report from CNBC.
The emergency funding follows the decision from the US Federal Reserve to cut interest rates by half a percentage point to support the American economy, lowering the benchmark rate to 1 to 1.25 percent.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.