White House requests $22.4B in COVID-19 funding, $3.9B in monkeypox funding
The White House is set to request $22.4 billion in funding for the ongoing COVID-19 response effort and $3.9 billion for the monkeypox response effort in the form of emergency funding from Congress, senior administration officials announced on Friday.
The updated request for COVID-19 funding is to meet immediate short-term domestic needs, including testing, research and development of next-generation vaccines and therapeutics, according to the White House. It also would support the global response to COVID-19 and help to prepare for future variants.
“Without additional funding, we will have to make more difficult decisions,” a senior administration official said on Friday.
The federal government on Friday suspended the program for free COVID-19 tests to be sent to Americans. Officials argued that a lack of funding has prevented them from adequately replenishing national stockpiles of at-home tests. They added that they issued a warning in March, stating that without more funding they will miss critical needs.
Officials said on Friday that while there are some tests available in the stockpile, there is not enough funding to get through a surge in the fall. Vaccines will be free into 2023, but the timeline for commercialization of vaccines going forward has had to be accelerated without funding.
The request to fight monkeypox is to help ensure ready access to vaccinations, testing, treatment and operational support. It also includes $600 million to help combat the spread globally.
The request, made ahead of the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, is for Congress to address critical needs in the event of short-term continuing resolution (CR) that lasts through the first quarter, which includes October, November and December.
“With one month until the end of the fiscal year, it’s clear that Congress will first need to pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the Federal government running and provide the time needed to reach an agreement on full-year funding bills,” Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young said in a blog post released Friday.
“That’s why today, as part of our prudent planning for the end of the fiscal year, we are providing technical assistance to Congress on a short-term CR.”
The White House’s request also includes $13.7 billion to help Ukraine amid the war with Russia and funding to respond to natural disasters in states including Kentucky, California, Louisiana, Texas and others.