The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress this week that the organization needs an additional $6 billion in order to roll out the coronavirus vaccine when it is ready.
“Right now we've leveraged about $600 million, but we do not have the resources to support 64 jurisdictions to get this plan operational, so to me it’s an urgency,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, according to The Hill.
“The time is now for us to be able to get those resources out to the state, and we currently don't have those resources,” he continued.
“If you have the vaccine and don't have either the plan or the resources to distribute it, that's a huge failure on the part of the Congress to provide the resources that we know are going to be necessary,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who chairs the Senate panel in charge of funding healthcare. “I hope it’s part of whatever package we put together this very month to be sure you have the capacity to do that.”
Both Republicans and Democrats have signaled that they support the $6 billion for vaccine distribution, but disagreements over a larger coronavirus relief package have stalled its approval. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused Democrats of opposing the bill to avoid giving President Donald Trump a victory, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office has accused the GOP of ignoring other areas in need of funding.
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