President Joe Biden is pressing lawmakers to release $10 billion in new COVID funding while potentially half of the two billion COVID-19 vaccines the United States has bought have been unused.
Initially, the Biden administration had asked in March for $22.5 billion to fund the purchasing of COVID vaccines, research, and more. At the time, White House press secretary Jen Psaki warned Americans would face "severe consequences" if Congress could not allocate the $22.5 billion in COVID funding the White House requested.
The initial request, however, has since been pared back into a $10 billion bipartisan bill, which, according to Business Insider, has been held up in Congress for the past month. Now, according to The Wall Street Journal, the Biden administration is touting it needs the funding to purchase more vaccines and other matters related to vaccines – or else risk the possibility of 100 million Americans being infected over the fall and winter.
But, according to Bloomberg Government's Alex Ruoff, "the U.S. has bought nearly 2 billion COVID vaccines – a revelation made to senators while negotiating more covid aid." This kicked off weeks of debate over how many doses reach arms and where federal [aid] should go: "To put this into context," Ruoff continues in his tweet thread, "the govt has distributed 729.6 million doses in the U.S. and shipped 537 million doses abroad. HHS says it has 275M doses in inventory. One senator worries that more than half of all doses bought don't go into arms. HHS says it's about 21%."
Ruoff's Friday tweet thread added, "these details were part of documents waved around by W.H. press Sec Jen Psaki showing the administrator has been responsive to lawmakers. But if you read the responses, they bring up fresh questions about the U.S. COVID response."
Newsmax could not immediately confirm if the Biden administration would seek to pull state funding in order to centralize financing of COVID vaccines and matters related to the bill. But back in March, when it was believed to be the case, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said: "States are getting billions of dollars, we're taking a small percentage."
"I was very disappointed, I have to say," Pelosi remarked, blaming Republicans for not including $15.6 billion in COVID-19 funds said to be included in the $1.5 trillion omnibus package. "I mean, I usually would not say that to you. But this is the president's pivotal plan."
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