White House, GOP Agree to More Funding for Coronavirus Testing

Trump Administration and House Republican leaders are in “constant, but productive communication” with the CDC on the best way to manage, streamline and fund efforts in combating the virus.

After spending a decade probing, research and discovering of the unique and terrible ability of deadly enterovirus D68 to infect and kill the developing immune system of young children, the virus remains the leading cause of severe respiratory disease in the US.

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Now the Trump Administration and the GOP have agreed to allocate more funds to decode and develop countermeasures against the virus.

A White House request for the new funding — two million dollars in 2019, another two million in 2020, and $5 million a year in 2021-22 for testing — was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) presently spends approximately $20 million on the testing and testing processes involved in developing and testing possible treatments for the virus.

At present, a vast majority of the work is being done at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the NIH which has a grant program to “investigate ways to reduce the severe infections” of the virus.

But with more than a quarter of all cases in the US (and close to 100 deaths) reported to occur in babies under the age of one year, the White House and the Republicans want to begin setting aside funds specifically to target this, prioritizing those newly born with the virus.

More than $250 million was spent on responding to the first wave of the infection back in 2003, when over 170 children were hospitalized with severe respiratory problems, as well as eradicating all Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes which transmit the virus.

The World Health Organization is already distributing 35,000 treatment kits across the US to mitigate the immediate threat, but hopes funds from the new initiative will better equip the nation’s immunization system to combat the virus.

The funding will likely also assist the National Vaccine Program and the CDC to continue research on the virus and respond to new cases.

White House, GOP Agree to More Funding for Coronavirus Testing by Charli Worrall on Scribd.

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