$8.3-billion package expected to be approved by Congress as soon as tomorrow
Washington, D.C. – As Rhode Island ramps up efforts to contain the novel coronavirus, members of the state’s congressional delegation announced an initial $500,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support statewide preparations. At least $4.9 million more in funding is expected to be provided to Rhode Island in the days ahead as part of an $8.3-billion bipartisan emergency supplemental aid package passed by the House today. The funding package could be approved by the Senate as early as tomorrow.
“Rhode Islanders want us to work together and get things done, and we did. This bipartisan bill is a critical down payment that includes needed investments in vaccine development, support for state and local governments, and other measures to help stop the outbreak,” said Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “Congress needs to work together to get it quickly passed, signed into law, and get the resources in place where they are most needed. And we need to be prepared to take additional steps if the outbreak spreads and the situation on the ground warrants additional action. We also need to hear from the Administration about how it plans to fix the gaps in our system for now and in the future.”
“This initial funding from the CDC is a down payment to immediately bolster efforts already underway to protect Rhode Islanders from the coronavirus,” said Senator Whitehouse. “Bipartisan, bicameral negotiations have moved with urgency to get additional resources on the ground to help contain this outbreak. The supplemental aid package will give prevention efforts a significant boost and get more testing kits and protective equipment into the hands of front line medical professionals and first responders.”
“We need to act with urgency to protect Rhode Islanders and stem the spread and impact of the coronavirus,” said Congressman Langevin. “This initial funding comes at a critical time for our state and will provide much needed support for response efforts. I’ll continue to advocate with my Congressional colleagues for adequate resources to confront this crisis.”
“This public health crisis requires the swift action and collaboration of government at the local, state, and federal levels,” Congressman Cicilline said. “I’m proud to help lead the effort in Washington to secure these valuable funds. I will continue to fight to ensure that Rhode Island gets our fair share of federal assistance as we work to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.”
The initial $500,000 award from the CDC may be used for monitoring travelers, data management, lab equipment, supplies, infection control, and surge staffing.
Rhode Island will receive a minimum of $4.9 million from the $8.3-billion supplemental package. States will also be eligible to apply to the CDC for additional assistance from nearly $350 million more in state and local funding included in the package.
In addition to funding state and local governments’ prevention and response efforts, the package includes robust support for vaccine development, the purchase of critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment, and telehealth services.
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