White House urges more funding for COVID treatments – Times-Herald

Author: Zeke Miller | Associated Press

WASHINGTON – For the past two years, America has been at the forefront of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Now, as pharmacists develop the next generation of therapies, the White House has warned that if Congress is not urgent, the U.S. will have to take a number.

Already the congressional halt on virus funding has forced the federal government to cut back on free treatment and cut off the supply of monoclonal antibodies. And officials at the Biden administration are increasingly alarmed by the fact that the US is losing critical doses of its recovery and new anti-virus pills that could help the country regain its sense of normalcy.

Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Hong Kong have called for treatments and vaccine doses that the U.S. has not yet committed to, according to the White House.

A month ago, the White House began warning that the country had spent $ 1.9 trillion directly on its response to COVID-19 in the U.S. Rescue Plan. He demanded $ 22.5 billion more for what he called “urgent” needs in the U.S. and abroad.

The Senate closed a smaller $ 10 billion package on household needs last month. But that deal collapsed when lawmakers opposed a prediction that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would end the pandemic-related border restrictions with Trump-era restrictions.

This week the White House is pushing for doctors to prescribe the Paxlovid anti-virus pill, which was initially distributed to those most likely to have serious side effects from COVID-19, but is now more available. A 20 million dose request from the government last year helped increase manufacturing capacity.

Paxlovid, when administered within five days of the onset of symptoms, has been shown to reduce hospitalization and death by 90% among patients most at risk for serious illness. About 314 Americans are currently dying from coronavirus every day, more than 2,600 at the beginning of this year during the omicron wave.

The U.S. used similar pre-purchase agreements to promote the domestic supply and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines through what was known to the Trump administration as “Operation Warp Speed.”

Now, with a new generation of treatment in the sky, the U.S. is backing down.

Japan has already made an initial request for the next COVID-19 antiviral pill from pharmacist Shionogi, saying that the research is as effective as treating Pfizer and has fewer drug interactions and is easier to administer.

Officials say that due to funding delays, the U.S. has not yet placed a pre-order, which will help the company scale up manufacturing to produce a wide-ranging pill.

“We know that companies are working on additional life-saving treatments that can protect American people, and without additional funding from Congress, these treatments, as well as tests and vaccines, are at risk of losing access while other countries face them.” White House spokesman Kevin Munoz said: “Congress needs to act urgently to return from the break to ensure new treatments for the American people and provide the funding needed to prevent this dangerous outcome.”

The issue further complicates the long-term manufacture of antiviral and antibody treatments. Paxlovid takes about six months to produce, and the monoclonal antibodies used to treat COVID-19 and prevent serious disease remain the same, meaning there is no time for the U.S. to fill its warehouse before the end of the year.

Last month, the White House began reducing the number of monoclonal antibody treatment deliveries to states to make supplies last longer.

Administrative officials declined to discuss specific treatments that hinder the request for recruitment requirements.

Funding discussions are also underway to purchase COVID-19 vaccine booster doses, including a new generation of vaccines that can better protect against the omicron variant.

Both Moderna and Pfizer are testing what scientists call “bivalent” shots – a mix of each company’s original vaccine and omicron target – Modern announced last week that he hopes to have his version ready this fall.

The Biden administration has said that although the US has a sufficient dose of vaccines for children under 5, once approved by regulators, and for high-risk vaccinations for people over 50, they do not have the money to demand a new generation. doses.

Earlier this month, former White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Hong Kong had already secured future booster doses.

Republicans have shown no sign of backing down the COVID-19 funding package before the 10 GOP votes needed to pass the Senate can be voted on, the House must vote on an effort to extend the Trump-era 42-term mandate. This COVID-related order, which the authorities must immediately expel almost all border migrants, will be repealed on 23 May.

An election vote to extend that mandate would be dangerous for Democrats, and many hope that this vote will not happen. Many privately say that Biden will maintain immigration restrictions or hope that a court will delay the end of the rules, but Republicans may still be forced to vote.

“Congress should take steps to ensure that the day is not May 23,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the DN.Y., said he expects legislation for the spring that will raise funds for COVID-19 and Ukraine earlier this month. Aid to Ukraine has widespread bilateral support and could help push the package out of Congress, but Republican opposition has already forced lawmakers to cut once funding for pandemic responses.

There are at least six Democrats, and potentially 10 or more, who would support the Republican amendment to extend the immigration order, enough to secure its passage.

That vote would be dangerous for swing district Democrats, who must call on pro-immigration Democratic voters in the face of an increase in migrants that will result from the lifting of borders without moving moderates away.

White House urges more funding for COVID treatments – Times-Herald Source link White House urges more funding for COVID treatments – Times-Herald

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