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Rep. Courtney Statement on Passage of Supplemental Funding Package to Curb Spread of Coronavirus

March 4, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) released the following statement this afternoon after the House of Representatives voted to pass the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 220 (H.R. 6074), a bill to provide emergency response supplemental funding to combat the coronavirus epidemic – including at least $7 million for the State of Connecticut – and to keep Americans safe.

“Last week’s announcement by the CDC that COVID-19 had been declared a heightened threat to public health was a call to beef up our public sector counter measures,” said Congressman Courtney. “The bipartisan emergency funding bill we passed will do just that – it dedicates robust, immediate funding towards addressing this global emergency, and it puts resources where they’re most needed and most effective. This is a time for the country and for this Congress to rise above political and jurisdictional borders, and to save lives. The Senate needs to move quickly to follow our lead and pass this emergency funding so that it can move forward to the President’s desk for signature.”

The emergency supplemental funding bill passed today provides $8.3 billion in new federal funding to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic. The bill contains strong provisions to ensure a robust response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Specifically, H.R. 6074 would provide:

  • More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics;
  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, $950 million of which is to support state and local health agencies;
  • Nearly $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness in Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity;
  • $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruption;
  • $1.25 billion to address the coronavirus abroad to help keep Americans safe here at home;
  • For the allowance of an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses, to help cushion the economic blow of this public health emergency

Additionally, the bill would:

  • Allow seniors to access telemedicine services for coronavirus treatment;
  • Require the Trump Administration to reimburse health accounts that were previously raided in order to pay for the initial coronavirus response;
  • Ensure that state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response.

On Friday, Rep. Courtney will host a roundtable discussion with representatives from the Connecticut Department of Public Health, local public health departments, community health providers, and emergency management professionals to discuss Connecticut’s response to COVID-19. Rep. Courtney will discuss in-detail the provisions of H.R. 6074, and how this funding package will aid response efforts in Connecticut. More information on Friday’s roundtable discussion will be provided as soon as possible.