After two years at the front of the line for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, the U.S. could soon have to begin taking a number.
The White House is warning that other countries are already moving ahead of the U.S. in putting in their advance orders for the next generation of therapies. The problem is lack of funding. Many in Congress are willing to vote for the billions now needed. But, Senate Republicans are demanding that as part of the deal Democrats must agree to extend pandemic-related, Trump-era border restrictions.
Unless Congress can break that impasse, the White House says, more Americans will get COVID-19 and die.
Months ago, the White House began speaking up after noticing that the country had spent the money in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was dedicated directly to COVID-19 response, the Associated Press reported. The Biden administration requested an additional $22.5 billion for what it called “urgent” needs in both the U.S. and abroad.