House Passes $7.8 Billion in Emergency Funding for Coronavirus & $490 Million for Temporary Expansion of Medicare Telemedicine Services | Congressman Lee Zeldin

House Passes $7.8 Billion in Emergency Funding for Coronavirus & $490 Million for Temporary Expansion of Medicare Telemedicine Services

March 4, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) issued the following statement after voting in favor of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074), which provides $7.8 billion in emergency funding for a robust response to the coronavirus outbreak, including support for state and local health agencies and vaccine and treatment development, and $490 million to temporarily expand Medicare telemedicine services to help ensure seniors' access to coronavirus treatment: 

“Right before voting in favor of this critical legislation, I concluded my latest coordination meeting and briefing with those leading the federal government’s response to coronavirus, including Vice President Pence, Dr. Fauci, Ambassador Birx and other leaders. Over the last several weeks, I’ve been in constant contact with my colleagues in government to ensure this is a very robust, whole-government approach - at every level - to do all in our power to contain and eradicate this threat.

“The coronavirus outbreak is a quickly evolving situation, and now is not the time to play politics. Everyone must work together to contain and eradicate this new disease. This critical legislation provides a comprehensive, whole-government, coordinated response to prevent, prepare and respond to this outbreak, jumpstart the development and availability of a vaccine, treatments and diagnostics, and expand Medicare telemedicine services so seniors, who are disproportionately vulnerable, have access to the treatment they need. I look forward to continuing to work closely with those at every level of government to respond to this developing situation.”

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act includes: 

  • Over $4 billion to make diagnostic tests more broadly available, support treatments to ease the symptoms of those infected with the virus, and invest in vaccine development and procurements of vaccines when they become available; 
  • $2.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a robust response, including:
    • Nearly $1 billion exclusively for state and local response efforts; and
    • $300 million for CDC’s Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund to prevent, prepare for, and respond to diseases.
  • $20 million to administer disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by the virus;
  • $1.25 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to protect Americans abroad and prevent the spread of the virus worldwide, including:
  • $264 million to evacuate Americans and maintain consular operations overseas; and
  • $200 million for USAID’s Emergency Response Fund to prepare for and respond to emerging health threats.

Long Islanders’ looking for up to date information on the coronavirus outbreak are encouraged to visit CDC.gov or zeldin.house.gov/coronavirus.