ASTMH Applauds the Swift Passage of Emergency Coronavirus Funding

Posted 12 March 2020

ASTMH Applauds Congress and the White House for Swift Passage of an $8.3 Billion Emergency Coronavirus Funding Package

Arlington, Va. (March 6, 2020) — The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), the largest international scientific organization of tropical infectious disease experts, applauds Congress and the White House for the remarkably swift and bipartisan passage of a sweeping $8.3 billion coronavirus response package today.
“We are heartened by the fact that during this public health emergency, our lawmakers spent weeks listening to and learning from our scientists and public health officials and made this evidence-based health funding decision in a swift and bipartisan manner,” said ASTMH President Joel Breman, MD, DTPH, FIDSA, FASTMH. 
“As someone who has worked on many disease outbreaks, including smallpox and Ebola, what we’re seeing today is a unified assault on a global epidemic. With instant newsfeeds and reports of new cases unfolding each day, it’s the invaluable partnership of state, local, federal and global experts that will move us forward to better understand the COVID-19 virus.” 
The spending package provides the following:  
  • The Department of Health and Human Services will receive $6.5 billion, with $3.4 billion allocated to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, $2.2 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and $836 million that will go to the National Institutes of Health.
  • The Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development will receive $1.25 billion under the bill and the Small Business Administration will receive $20 million.
$300 million for the government to purchase vaccines, calling on the administration to ensure that the vaccines are affordable.