President Donald Trump on Friday, March 6, signed an emergency funding package worth $8.3 billion to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
In his remarks at signing of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the president said his administration had asked for a $2.5 billion funding from Congress and got $8.3 billion.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 6, 2020
The bill was introduced on Wednesday, March 4, and passed by the House hours later. The Senate then cleared it less than 24 hours later.
According to Politico, the bill will provide $7.7 billion in new discretionary spending and authorizes an additional $490 million in mandatory spending through a Medicare change.
The funding will accelerate development of a vaccine, research, and equipment stockpiles, and boost state and local health budgets as federal and state agencies work to combat the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the United States.
More than $400 million will be disbursed to states within the first 30 days of the bill’s enactment, with each state receiving no less than $4 million.
As of Friday, there are 233 cases in 23 states, bringing the total of coronavirus cases in the United States to 226, CNN reported, citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local governments. The death toll rose to at least 15, most of these in Washington state.