Congress must pass additional funding to fight COVID-19, CPA says

Congress must pass legislation with additional funds to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, or compromise necessary measures in the public health emergency, according to the American College of Physicians (ACP).

College President George M. Abraham, MD, MACP has written to congressional leaders asking for more funding in the COVID Supplementary Appropriations Act 2022or HR 7007.

“Sustained and adequate funding is essential for the federal government and public health agencies to support the nation’s ongoing fight. efforts to prevent and mitigate the harmful effects of COVID-19 on patients,” said Abraham, who leads the organization representing internists. “Without additional federal resources, these critical efforts may not continue.”

Abraham cited the recent increase in the COVID virus detected in sewage in the United States.

The federal Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC) monitors virus RNA in wastewater collection systems around the country. According to the CDC, levels of COVID-19 in sewage could serve as an “early warning system” for increasing clinical cases in a community.

The agency too monitors COVID-19 variants and reported the BA.2 variant accounted for 23% of cases across the country, Abraham said.

In Congress, the bill contains $10.6 billion for the Public Health and Human Services Emergency Fund, including $9.85 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and $750 million for develop new vaccines that protect against future variants.

“The COVID Supplementary Appropriations Act of 2022 and accompanying funding are necessary to maintain the federal government’s ongoing response to the COVID pandemic,” Abraham said. “Without additional funding, patients will not have access to vaccines, treatments and tests needed to mitigate the harmful effects of COVID. We urge the House and Senate to quickly pass this legislation to avoid any gaps in access to these essential services for our patients and avoid any COVID surge due to a lack of resources.

This was originally published by our sister publication Medical Economics.

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