Durbin Statement On Coronavirus Supplemental Funding Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement on the bipartisan coronavirus emergency response supplemental funding bill.  The bill provides $7.8 billion to respond to and prevent coronavirus, including funding for patient monitoring, lab testing, acquisition of test kits and protective equipment, and research into vaccines and therapeutics.  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is expected to receive at least $14.7 million and the Chicago Department of Public Health is expected to receive an additional $8.7 million.

“It was critical that this funding bill reimburse state and local governments – including Illinois and Chicago – for costs incurred while assisting the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak, which this final agreement does.  Once the House acts, it will be imperative for the Senate to move quickly to approve this much-needed funding and send it to the President’s desk for his signature.”

Separate from the emergency supplemental appropriations funding bill, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today a total of $2.75 million in initial funding for IDPH and $1.75 million in initial funding for the Chicago Department of Public Health for coronavirus surveillance, infection control, and surge staffing activities.

Last week, Durbin called on the Trump Administration to do more to address the coronavirus epidemic following the President’s minimal and long overdue coronavirus funding request.

Last month, Durbin joined Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to introduce the Public Health Emergency Response and Accountability Act, bipartisan legislation to create a permanent funding mechanism to ensure quick and effective responses to future public health emergencies.