The U.S. Senate passed an $8.3 billion funding bill to help state and local governments combat the fast spreading coronavirus.
By a vote of 96-1, the Senate approved legislation that was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Representatives.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said of the emergency funding bill, "It's a serious agreement to meet a serious challenge and today we will send it to President Trump's desk."
‘In addition, our legislation directs surge resources to the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health," McConnell said. "It provides billions to replenish medical supply stockpiles, to support community health centers, and to ensure that future vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics would be accessible to Americans. And it bolsters the Small Business Administration to help soften the blow on workers and job creators.
The money to fight coronavirus includes more than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, test kits and medical treatments. Another $2.2 billion would aid public health activities on prevention, preparedness and response to outbreaks.