Biden Proposes Spending $81.7 Billion to Deal with Future Pandemics

Joe Biden‘s proposed budget calls for $81.7 billion over five years in order to prepare for future pandemics, a significant investment to boost the nation’s preparedness for future threats.

“While combatting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the United States must catalyze advances in science, technology, and core capabilities to prepare the Nation for the next biological threat and strengthen U.S. and global health security,” the budget announced.

The new funding stream for pandemic preparedness would need congressional approval.

The path to funding for future pandemics has proven to be rocky, even for money to meet immediate COVID-19 needs, despite health experts saying it is essential.

It has been reported that about $15 billion in funding for vaccines, tests, and treatments were stripped out of the government funding bill earlier this month, and lawmakers are seeking new ways to pay for them.

The president’s budget includes $40 billion for developing and manufacturing vaccines, treatments, and tests to combat future threats.

An additional $28 billion would be allocated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for surveillance, lab capacity, and public health workforce development.

For vaccine research and other measures, the National Institutes of Health would receive $12.1 billion, and the Food and Drug Administration would receive $1.6 billion for its labs and information technology.

As part of the budget, $5 billion will be earmarked for the newly-established Advanced Research Projects for Health (ARPA-H), which focuses on medical research in areas like cancer, one of Biden’s top priorities.

In the fall, the Biden administration proposed spending $65 billion on pandemic preparedness over 7 to 10 years, but Congress did not act on the proposal.

More so, the Bipartisan legislation advancing through the Senate does not include significant new funding for pandemic preparedness.

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