Emergency Bill to Meet Coronavirus Threat on Its Way to President’s Desk

Smith votes for $8.3 billion in new funding to combat the disease

The House of Representatives and Senate have passed extensive, bipartisan legislation to stem the threat of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, and help fund the development of new testing, prevention and treatment methods.

     “I am pleased to support and vote for this $8.3 billion emergency appropriations bill to provide an added infusion of funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies already working to protect US citizens,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) the ranking member of the House subcommittee on global health.

    “This comprehensive bill, and the widespread support it received, will help expedite funding for testing, prevention and treatment,” Smith said. “Prevention is, as they say, worth a pound of cure, and the better we can prevent and contain COVID-19 from spreading, the less impact it will have on our communities.”

     The House approved the measure, HR 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, in a 415-2 vote Wednesday night. The Senate passed the House bill 96-1 Thursday. It now heads to President Trump for his signature and final enactment.

     “The legislation will help support the development and manufacturing of vaccines and other medical supplies, as well as grants for state and local public health agencies and organizations,” Smith said.  “It also provides loans for affected small businesses, and funds evacuations and emergency preparedness activities at U.S. embassies and other State Department facilities, humanitarian assistance and support for health systems in the affected countries abroad.”

     Residents of the Fourth Congressional District can find additional information at the State of New Jersey Health Dept. or county health department websites, including those in Mercer CountyMonmouth County and Ocean County.

     Questions about the coronavirus can be posed to health experts at NJ’s Coronavirus Hotline: 1-800-222-1222. 

   The CDC also provides information on its website, including updates on the coronavirus and a guide on precautions people can take to protect themselves. Additionally, the US Environmental Protection Agency today advised Americans on the best types of  disinfectants with a recommended list.