US COVID-19 Testing Costs Covered By 2nd Coronavirus Response Act; Third $1Tn Relief Bill Coming
The US Congress wrapped up work on 18 March on a second COVID-19 preparedness bill to cover costs of testing uninsured individuals, military beneficiaries and other outbreak responses. A planned third COVID-19 relief package would dole out $1tn to agencies and device makers.
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‘Full-Speed Ahead’: Trump Invokes Korean War Era Law To Fight COVID-19, Shaking Up US Device Manufacturing
Calling himself a “wartime president,” Donald Trump on 18 March invoked the Defense Production Act to push US manufacturers to produce medical products needed to combat COVID-19 – even if those companies aren’t device makers. Trump later signed an Executive Order giving Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar the power to “allocate materials, services and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate” – all actions covered by the DPA.
An $8.3bn “Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental” funding act approved by the US Congress last week and signed into law on 6 March provides dollars and lays out the roles federal agencies, such as the FDA, and state and local agencies must play in containing and controlling the spread of COVID-19.
US Vice President Mike Pence and Medicare administrator Seema Verma want academic and university hospital laboratories to send their de-identified COVID-19 test data results, daily, to the Department of Health and Human Services. Commercial and private labs are exempt from the request, as they already share their coronavirus test results with the government.