Schumer insisted on funding for pandemic preparedness during meeting with advocate
Leader of pandemic preparedness advocacy group meets with Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSusan Collins’ persistent bipartisanship clock Senate set to postpone vacation until it acts on voting rights Democratic senators step up pressure to declassify 9/11 documents linked to Saudi role in attacks MORE (DN.Y.) this week to advocate for strong funding amid fears of a cut in money.
Gabe Bankman-Fried, founder and director of Guarding Against Pandemics, confirmed he had met Schumer this week, although he declined to discuss details of the meeting.
This is $ 30 billion to help the country prepare for future pandemics, which the White House has proposed as part of its US $ 2.25 billion jobs plan. The Hill reported last week that funding is at risk of being cut to $ 5 billion as Democrats attempt to squeeze a host of priorities into a $ 3.5 trillion window for a separate package.
Bankman-Fried said in an interview that funding for readiness is still “very much on hold.”
He said lawmakers had expressed support for the funding in theory, but were not committing $ 30 billion in the next legislative package.
“In all of our outreach activities on the hill, what we hear is, ‘This is great. It would be great if that happened, I really believe it, but, you know, we’ll see, ”he said.
When contacted for comment on the meeting, Schumer’s office reported a recent tweet of the senator who said: “President TrumpDonald Trump’s watchdog DHS blames data management for difficult PPE distribution: Trump report urges supporters to buy misspelled ‘official Trump card’ In tribute to Susan Collins’ persistent bipartisanship MORE spent years undoing our public health infrastructure, which has made America under-prepared for COVID. I have worked and will continue to work to make the investments necessary to ensure that we are fully prepared for future pandemics. “
Schumer’s office did not specifically comment on the fate of the $ 30 billion, nor the amount of funding likely to be included in the $ 3.5 trillion measure.
White House press secretary Jen psakiJen PsakiOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden Administration Deploys Clean Car Targets | White House Unveils Additional Billion In Local Disaster Funding Overnight Healthcare: Moderna Says Booster Likely Needed Before Winter | Fauci: booster injections for “very high priority” immunocompromised | Vaccinations rise as cases rise White House unveils additional billion in local disaster funding MORE also did not provide details on the amount of funding during a press briefing on Wednesday. Ask if President BidenJoe BidenCruz tears up his GOP colleagues who are “complicit” in Biden’s spending program. wants to preserve the pandemic preparedness funding in the package, Psaki said: “He is confident that there will be a historic amount of funding in the reconciliation package and is happy to see it.”
In the House, Rep. Ritchie Torres (DN.Y.) is pushing for the full $ 30 billion.
He called it “misguided” and “myopic” that Congress is considering cutting new funding for pandemic preparedness during a pandemic.
“What else must happen for the United States Congress to treat pandemics seriously [they deserve]?” He asked.