Senate Democrats have included $21 billion in possible appropriations funding to provide resources for the coronavirus pandemic, as well as funding that could be used for testing and vaccines related to the monkeypox virus.
Led by Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, the proposal was released as part of all of the appropriations bills for the next fiscal year.
This measure specifically would allocate $16 billion for a key program at the US Department of Health and Human Services that could be used for tests, vaccines, medical supplies and research. There is also an additional $5 billion for helping other countries fight Covid-19.
The funding also specifies the funding could be used to address emerging virus, such as monkeypox.
The additional aid to fight Covid is the latest push by Democrats to increase funding to fight this pandemic and future ones. Earlier this year, bipartisan talks to approve a $10 billion Covid relief deal broke down over demands for votes on amendments – including one to target the Biden administration’s Title 42 immigration decision.