The coronavirus funding bill signed into law by the president Friday puts much more money toward treating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 than his administration requested from Congress last week.
The Trump administration’s initial request — in the form of a two-page letter to Congress on Feb. 24 — was for $1.25 billion in new funds, with additional money moved from other parts of the federal budget to get to a total of $2.5 billion. The amount authorized Friday is more than three times that.
“It’s a significant amount of money,” says Jen Kates of the Kaiser Family Foundation. In comparison, Congress put $5.4 billion toward the Ebola response in 2014 and nearly $7 billion for H1N1 in 2009 — though, of course, each epidemic is different and requires a different response.
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