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Lack of Federal COVID-19 Funds May Soon Lead to Supply Rationing


May 24, 2022

Nearly all of the money in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was dedicated directly to the COVID-19 response has been spent, and the White House is planning for a number of contingencies if more COVID-19 funding is not approved by Congress. Among these contingencies is rationing of supplies of treatments and vaccines by this fall.

Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, has warned that the U.S. could lose progress that it has made in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, and that supply shortages could impact even the most vulnerable, as reported on modernhealthcare.com.

The White House is facing deadlines from medical manufacturers to place orders for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, after which other nations will jump ahead of the U.S. in accessing the supply. Officials warn that if these deadlines pass and the U.S. does not have the funding to purchase said vaccines and treatments, they will become harder to come by, tests will again become scarce, and as a result, negative outcomes could increase.

Dr. Jha was quoted on modernhealthcare.comsaying, "I think we would see a lot of unnecessary loss of life if that were to happen . . . But we're looking at all the scenarios and planning for all of them."

The Biden Administration has requested an additional $22.5 billion for COVID response; however, the willingness of Congress to pass that amount is uncertain.

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