President-elect Joe Biden rolled out a sweeping $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan that, if adopted by Congress, would direct about $400 billion toward directly controlling the coronavirus.
It’s a big lift, even as Democrats prepare to assume a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate. And already some Republicans — including Florida U.S. Sen. Rick Scott — have questioned portions of the plan, especially the extra financial help for states. Scott said that, while there were some “good things” in the proposal, it would result in bailouts for “wasteful, liberal states.”
Biden’s proposal would mean a large infusion of money for states, including Florida.
According to a fact sheet distributed by the Biden-Kamala Harris campaign, the president-elect is proposing to spend $20 billion for a national vaccine rollout; $50 billion to expand testing; $30 billion to ensure sufficient supplies and protective gear; $10 billion on expanding domestic manufacturing for pandemic supplies; and $130 billion to safely reopen schools.
Biden also proposes hiring 100,000 public health workers and setting aside $350 billion for state and local governments to “keep front line public workers on the job and paid.”
The American Hospital Association issued a statement Friday that praised Biden for promising additional funding for vaccine production, personal protective equipment, COVID-19 testing and surveillance, and therapeutics to treat people with the virus. But American Hospital Association President and CEO Rick Pollack said that even more is necessary.
“While we thank President-elect Biden for many of the policies in this plan, we continue to believe that more must be done to aid our response to the pandemic, including more support for hospitals and health systems through the Provider Relief Fund,” Pollack said in a prepared statement.