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Biden Insists He Needs $30B More To Fight Covid

(CNN) The Biden administration has informed key lawmakers that it will likely need $30 billion in supplemental funding to continue the fight against Covid-19, a source familiar with the matter said.

The $30 billion request is expected to include $17.9 billion to fund vaccines and treatments, $4.9 billion for testing, $3 billion to fund Covid-related health care costs for the uninsured and $3.7 billion to prepare for future variants, the source familiar with the matter said.

Top officials with the Department of Health and Human Services laid out the need to lawmakers on Tuesday, according to the source, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations. The funding would go toward vaccines, treatments, testing and other pandemic preparedness measures.

An HHS spokesperson said in a statement :

“HHS leaders regularly engage with Congress about Covid resources, and in a Tuesday conversation with congressional staff, HHS discussed the status of Covid response funds as well as the need for additional resources to support securing more life-saving treatments and vaccines, sustaining testing capacity, and investing in research and development of next-generation vaccines.”

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“These resources would help us continue expanding the tools the country needs to stay ahead of the virus and help us move toward the time when Covid-19 will not disrupt our daily lives.”

White House officials have said the administration still has sufficient funds to carry out its coronavirus response, but have indicated more funding may be necessary in the future.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday:

“While we continue to have sufficient funds to respond to the current Omicron surge in the coming weeks, our goal has always been to ensure that we are well prepared to stay ahead of the virus.

“So we’ve been in these ongoing conversations about what those needs might look like.”

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