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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
- About Us
House Approves $8 Billion for Swine Flu Pandemic
17 June 2009 2:34 pm
The U.S. House of Representatives last night approved $7.65 billion in new money to respond to the swine flu pandemic. The money will go toward the purchase of vaccine, antiviral drugs, and other medical needs. Congress also stipulated that the funds be available for surveillance and to help assist international efforts. At least $350 million must be spent on “upgrading State and local capacity.”
Jeffrey Levi, a health policy specialist who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Trust for America’s Health, applauds Congress’s action. “This demonstrates a serious commitment on the part of the Administration and the Congress to ramp up our capacity to respond to the H1N1 pandemic,” Levi said.
Although the Office of Management and Budget had suggested that Congress set aside nearly $12 billion in contingency funds by dipping into money allocated to Project BioShield and the stimulus plan, Levi said the legislators made the right decision not to rely on what he called a “rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul” strategy. “Preparing for a pandemic shouldn't come at the expense of defending against other threats,” he said.
The Obama Administration so far has committed $1 billion to purchase vaccine against the novel H1N1 virus for 20 million Americans and the new cash may enable it to purchase more. “The Administration now has the flexibility to tap resources as needed as they make the science-based decisions to proceed or not with vaccine production,” Levi said.
The money is part of a $106 billion package of supplemental funds that mainly support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill later this week, and it’s expected to pass easily and then receive President Barack Obama’s signature.