Michigan to net $14.5M in coronavirus aid passed by Congress

By: - March 5, 2020 8:01 pm

U.S. Capitol via Flickr Public Domain

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate voted this week to approve an $8.3 billion emergency Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) package.

According to a news release from U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), Michigan will get $14.5 million to combat the spread of the disease if it appears in the state.

Sen. Gary Peters
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters at Mott Community College | Derek Robertson

There are more than 95,000 cases globally, and 129 cases in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. So far there have been 12 deaths. No cases have been reported yet in Michigan.

“[COVID-19] is a threat we must be prepared to address, and that’s why I fought to secure needed federal resources for Michigan,” said Peters.

As previously reported by the Advance, Peters this week also urged the Trump administration to launch Coronavirus.gov to provide the nation with information about COVID-19.  

The Senate vote on Thursday was 96-3, with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) also voting in support of the bill.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer added that it’s more important than ever that we all work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I am grateful for the leadership of Senator Peters and Senator Stabenow, and the Michigan delegation to secure this critical funding for Michigan,” said Whitmer.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton | Andrew Roth

The U.S. House voted 415-2 on Wednesday, with all 14 members of the Michigan delegation voting for it.

“This is an all hands on deck situation. Our nation must have the resources necessary to protect the health and safety of all Americans,” said U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R- St. Joseph), who is in support of the bill.

According to the U.S. House, the funding includes:

  • $490 million for mandatory spending by spending by lifting constraints on Medicare’s payments for telehealth so beneficiaries can freely consult their doctors remotely.
  • $350 million for “hot spots” funding that municipalities can apply for in the event of an outbreak.
  • $500 million for masks, protective equipment and other medical supplies to allow the federal government to distribute to state and local governments and hospitals.
  • $950 million to reimburse state and local governments for conducting COVID-19 monitoring; laboratory testing to detect positive cases; contact tracing to identify additional positive cases; infection control to prevent additional cases and other public health preparedness and response activities.
  • $3.1 billion for increasing the amount of medical supplies and supplements at the Strategic National Stockpile.
  • $100 million for community health centers.
  • About $826 million for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the development of coronavirus vaccines, treatments and tests.
  • $61 million for the FDA for vaccines and other efforts to counter the virus and keep up with shortages in medical products.
  • $1.3 billion for the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development, emergency evacuations.
  • $20 million for the Small Business Administration to increase the number of loans given to businesses affected by the outbreak.
  • The Trump administration also is required to replace $136 million that it recently shifted from various health accounts, including mental health and substance abuse programs, in order to pad out its coronavirus response. 

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Madeline Ciak
Madeline Ciak

Madeline Ciak is a former Michigan Advance reporter. She’s a University of Michigan-Flint graduate and previously worked as a digital media manager at NBC25/FOX66 in Flint and a weekend producer at ABC12.