US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a package of measures to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak worth $8.3 billion, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
According to Axios, 415 members of the lower house of the US Congress voted for the bill, only two were against.
The document provides funding for the development of methods for treating the disease for $3 billion, another $2.2 billion will be allocated to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work to contain the infection. In addition, 1 billion dollars, as noted by WSJ, the United States will direct to the fight against coronavirus abroad.
The publication recalls that the White House initially planned to spend three times less for these purposes - 2.5 billion, but American lawmakers indicated that this was too little. U.S. President Donald Trump eventually announced that he would sign any bill that Congress would approve.
In addition, the WSJ writes about the dispute over the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed in the United States between Democrats and Republicans. The former insisted that the drug should have an "affordable" price, while the latter pointed out that controlling the cost could slow down development. The final version of the bill provides for the allocation of $ 300 million for public procurement of vaccines and other medicines to ensure public access to them.
Another item of expenditure in the document was the inclusion of telemedicine in the US national Medicare health insurance program. The US Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will require approximately another $ 500 million.
In the United States, according to the latest data, 153 cases of coronavirus infection were registered, 11 people died.