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What is real defense? Defense is keeping a country's citizens safe. So far, a million Americans have died of Covid-19. One would think funding for Covid-19 would be a key national security priority for our leaders. Instead, the government aid for Covid has been cut to zero.
Congress failed to include new Covid money in their recent $1.5 trillion spending bill, and then shortly after, they left town.
In March 2022, the Democrats cleared this $1.5 trillion spending compromise — along with billions in emergency aid for Ukraine. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team yanked the White House’s $15 billion coronavirus relief request out of this bill.
The decision to ditch the virus aid was a complete betrayal of public health. There is now no clear path to deliver money that was intended to help bolster global vaccinations and to prepare the U.S. for another variant.
How many more have to die for our government to take this threat seriously? 2 million? 3 million?
June 8th, 2022, Update
The White House recently stated that it is cutting funds from some areas of its COVID-19 response in order to shift money to vaccines and treatments, given that new funding remains stalled in Congress. The White House has been warning for months that it needs more funding from Congress, but the $22.5 billion request remains stalled on Capitol Hill, with little sign of movement. (The Hill, 6-8-22) The White House released a statement on the risks of not passing aid for Covid efforts. They said the lack of aid will reduce the ability to identify and assess emerging variants. They also stated that there will be damage to global vaccination and Covid-19 Treatment efforts.
Covid Cases Are on the Rise Once Again
As of May, 2022, cases of Covid are on the rise again. The U.S. has seen an average of more than 100,000 reported new infections across the country every day. That's about double what it was a month ago. And the real number of cases is likely much higher 'cause so many people are doing at-home tests, and those positives don't get included in official counts. (NPR, 5-28-22)
Congress Cuts Commitment to Vaccinating Globe To Zero
Experts have stated that the U.S. needs to dedicate anywhere from $20 billion to $50 billion to helping keep the globe vaccinated. We ourselves have recommended $20 billion.
Already Biden's commitment to vaccinating the globe was cut to a level way below where it should be. It was already cut from $5 billion to $4.25 billion. And now Congress is cutting it to zero.
Funding For Testing and Treatment for the Uninsured Will Soon Be Gutted
Perhaps most alarmingly, the federal government has stopped accepting claims for testing and treatment for uninsured people by March 22, 2022—potentially leaving these people on the hook for the cost of getting Covid-19. April 5, 2022 marked the last day uninsured people can get free vaccinations, according to the White House.
We urge Congress to come back as soon as possible and to fund Covid. Congress should find a bipartisan solution to this crisis.
EARTH FUTURE ACTION REPORTS
Global Covid Plan
Vaccines for the Rich. Death for the Poor
FACT SHEET: Consequences of Lack of Funding for Efforts to Combat COVID-19 if Congress Does Not Act (White House, 3-15-22)
The Government Is Running Out of COVID Money (VICE, 3-16-22)
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022: What's in It, What's Not (Investopedia, 3-15-22)