Thursday, March 17, 2022

White House Cries Poverty, Threatens to Cancel COVID Antibody Order Unless Congress OKs $22.5B; Republicans Reluctant on $15 Billion in Virus Aid, as White House Warns About Pandemic Readiness, and other C-Virus related stories

Ken Cedeno/POOL/EPA
White House cries poverty, threatens to cancel COVID antibody order unless Congress OKs $22.5B:
The Biden administration said Tuesday that it’s prepared to cancel an order for COVID-19 antibodies next week because it needs more money — and that the US could run out of vaccine booster shots if Congress doesn’t approve $22.5 billion in new funds.
Republicans, meanwhile, say billions remain unspent from prior bills.
The stark warnings come after Senate Republicans, citing high inflation, effectively blocked the request by demanding to know how much money remains unused from $5 trillion in pandemic legislation — nixing an attempt by House Democrats to hitch the request to Ukraine aid.
“Our scientific and medical experts have been clear that in the next couple of months, we could see COVID cases increase here in the US just as we’re seeing cases rising abroad right now,” an administration official said a White House-organized call as coronavirus cases subside after two years and authorities lift COVID-19 mask rules.
An early impact of a cash shortfall would be on monoclonal antibodies that are used to treat seriously ill patients, the official said, as US coronavirus deaths near 1 million. Hospitals would have to acquire their own supplies if the US government did not provide them. --->READ MORE HERE
Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post
Republicans reluctant on $15 billion in virus aid, as White House warns about pandemic readiness:
Senate Republicans on Tuesday held firm in their reluctance to approve roughly $15 billion in new coronavirus aid, even as the White House warned anew that congressional inaction threatened to imperil the country’s ability to deliver tests, therapeutics and vaccines.
The stalemate left Washington scrambling to find solutions for the second consecutive week, while the future of the U.S. government’s pandemic response appeared to hang in the balance — stymied not by a vexing new pathogen but a now-familiar political battle over federal spending.
The day began with an urgent call to action, as top White House officials stressed they needed to restock a series of critical aid programs that had been nearly depleted by the fast-spreading omicron wave. The public request reflected a growing sense of panic within the Biden administration that the country may not be fully prepared if the pandemic were to worsen precipitously again.
“We continue to urge Congress to promptly provide the critical funds needed to prevent severe disruptions to our COVID response,” wrote Shalanda Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, in a letter to lawmakers. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Pfizer Expected to Seek Approval for Second COVID Booster Shot For Seniors

U.S. funeral assistance for COVID tops $2B, more eligible

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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