White House to renew push for Covid aid after deal stalled

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White House to renew push for Covid aid after deal stalled

A White House official said that with Congress returning this week, the Biden administration is preparing to renew its push to secure Covid 19 funding after a $10 billion bipartisan deal was stalled in the Senate before lawmakers left for recess.

The bill for testing, treatments and vaccines has already taken a toll on the country - from uninsured Americans having to pay the bill for tests, treatments and vaccines to states with fewer monoclonal antibodies to keep people out of the hospital, the official said. Congress needs to provide us the funds we need to protect the American people, because further inaction is unacceptable. The White House intends to give more aid to Ukraine when Congress returns. The administration will work with lawmakers to get aid to the Ukrainian people and keep the American people from Covid, according to the official.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, announced this month that leaders had reached an agreement to provide $10 billion in Covid response funding.

The agreement says $5 billion would be allocated for therapeutics, with the rest going toward vaccines, including booster shots, and testing capacity. It covers most of the White House's request with one key exception: funds for global efforts to combat the Pandemic. The measure was not included in Congress's previous attempts to include it in the legislative bill because of disagreements over how to structure and finance it.

The bill will not cost the American people a single additional dollar, Romney said in a statement that the legislation would be funded by repurposing unspent money from previous Covid relief packages.

The White House asked for $22.5 billion for Covid funding as part of a $1.5 trillion spending bill passed last month. The package, which included emergency aid to Ukraine, was removed to ensure that it would be able to draw enough Republican votes to cross the finish line.

The US averaged 46,088 daily Covid cases as of Sunday, a rise of 46.9 percent in the past two weeks, according to the NBC News data. The 2 version of the omicron variant of the coronavirus remains the dominant strain in the country.