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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI)

For Immediate Release                             Contact: Michael J. McQuerry

March 4, 2020                                                       202-215-8524

PRESS STATEMENT

CONGRESSWOMAN STACEY E. PLASKETT STATEMENT ON CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY RESPONSE BILL

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett released this statement on the passage of the coronavirus emergency response supplemental funding bill today:

“As a Member of Congress, we recognize that Americans urgently need a coordinated, fully-funded, whole-of-government response to keep us safe from the widening coronavirus epidemic. Today the House passed an emergency coronavirus response funding package of $8.3 billion of new funds to address the urgent needs of the country.

“This funding is provides $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness and response, including nearly a billion dollars specifically to alleviate the immense financial strain on state, local, tribal and territorial hospitals and health systems.  To protect public health, the bill will allow Medicare providers to extend telemedicine services to seniors regardless of where they live, at an estimated cost of $500 million.  The bill also allows an estimated $7 billion in low-interest SBA loans to small businesses impacted by this epidemic.

“This funding commits more than $3 billion to the development of treatments and a coronavirus vaccine and include an additional $300 million to ensure Americans will have access to the vaccine regardless of their ability to pay.  The legislation protects against price-gouging of these medicines developed with taxpayer dollars by ensuring that the federal government will only pay a fair and reasonable price for coronavirus vaccines and drugs and providing HHS the authority to ensure that they are affordable in the commercial market.

“I am grateful that the House moved swiftly to pass this vital coronavirus emergency response package. I commend the House leadership on taking the lead on this issue and for making provisions so Americans living in the Territories are included.”

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