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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Overwhelming Support for Congress to Continue Funding the Nation's COVID-19 Response

March 23, 2022

Following the Biden Administration outlining the consequences of a lack of continued COVID-19 funding from Congress, doctors, hospitals, and public health leaders have overwhelmingly come out in support of President Biden's push for emergency supplemental funding to protect Americans and prepare for new waves. Administration officials have made clear that without this funding, the United States will not have enough additional boosters or variant specific vaccines, if needed, for all Americans. And, the federal government will be unable to purchase additional life-saving treatments or sustain the testing capacity built over the last 14 months.

Here's what they are saying:

Over 200 Leading Public Health Experts and Organizations: "Now is not the time to stall additional funding for COVID relief… We—non-governmental, non-partisan health professionals and researchers—urge you to quickly appropriate the billions necessary for a robust COVID response in 2022, and just as importantly, the development of an infrastructure to more effectively confront future biosecurity and pandemic threats."

American Hospital Association: "We support the administration's request for additional funding to ensure that the healthcare system has the resources it needs to continue to care for their patients, especially as we continue to manage Covid-19 in communities across the nation."

American Public Health Association: "I write in strong support of additional emergency supplemental appropriations for COVID-19 prevention and response activities."

American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association, and American Psychiatric Association: "Robust Covid Supplemental funding is necessary to maintain the federal government's ongoing response to the COVID pandemic and enable us to proactively respond to the threats of future variants or surges. Without additional funding, patients will not have access to the vaccines, treatments, and testing needed to mitigate the harmful effects of COVID both in the United States and globally. We urge both the House and Senate to quickly consider and pass robust funding legislation to avoid any gap in access to these critical services for our patients and avoid any surge of COVID both here and abroad due to a lack of resources."

National Governors Association: "Governors request that Congress and the Administration work together to ensure states and territories have the necessary resources to continue to respond to COVID-19, while also protecting current commitments from the federal government, including State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds."

Washington Post Editorial Board : "Let's finally ditch the needless cycles of panic and neglect. As a start, Congress must immediately provide funding to combat the pandemic in the months ahead."

American Federation of Teachers: "If we fail to provide this important funding, we are setting ourselves up to backtrack on all the progress we've made these past two years. Without this funding, the government will be unable to provide future doses of vaccines to fight COVID-19 variants, unable to provide tests and treatments to those who need them, and unable to effectively fight this virus like we have been."

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy: "We've come too far in the fight against COVID to go back. I urge Congress to immediately provide the funding needed to make sure Americans have access to vaccines, boosters, tests, and more – ensuring we continue to move forward."

Dr. Michael Osterholm, University of Minnesota: "To not fully fund these programs, you are playing with an infectious disease fire, and it will burn you… It would be going out and purchasing fire trucks the moment the 911 calls come in to the station."

Dr. Howard Forman, Yale University School of Medicine: "If they [Congress] allow this to get where money actually runs out, they will be putting politics above the public's health."

Dr. Leana Wen, George Washington: "But leaders are supposed to use this lull to prepare for what's next, because we know it's only a matter of time before the next emergency arrives."

Dr. Michael Mina, former Harvard University epidemiologist: "To think we're at a stage to stop appropriating funds and advocating for pandemic preparedness, I think, it's one of the worst decisions that our government could make."

Dr. Monica Gandhi, University of California, San Francisco: "This additional funding is absolutely vital to stay vigilant in this endemic stage of the virus with surveillance, vaccination and treatment."

Dr. Megan Ranney, Brown University: "I hope that we pull back before what little safety net we have, against #covid19, is shredded. Congress, please fund these plans. Waiting until another surge hits, is already too late."

Dr Peter Hotez, Baylor College: "Note to @HouseGOP, @HouseDemocrats, @SenateGOP, @SenateDems: BA.2 sub variant rising with cases rising sharply in Europe. From past experience we must anticipate this is in store for America. Imperative to fund these measures. Now is not the time to bicker about who pays for the salad nicoise and who pays for the turkey club. If BA.2 and cases climb, if the House/Senate turn their backs and cross their arms, and we can't get Paxlovid, mabs, or boosters, this will be very destabilizing for the nation."

Dr. Scott Krugman: "The time to prepare for the next wave of a pandemic is BEFORE the next wave of the pandemic (like now). Congress and our government need to take the steps we know work now and fund the infrastructure to prevent a worse surge."

Joseph R. Biden, WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Overwhelming Support for Congress to Continue Funding the Nation's COVID-19 Response Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/355051

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