Biden seeks to pass $10 billion Covid-19 bill to prevent a potential wave of 100 million infections

Business Insider US
US President Joe Biden (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
  • Covid-19 could infect 100 million more Americans this fall and winter, an official told WaPo. 
  • A $10 billion Covid-19 bill for vaccines and treatments has been held up in Congress for a month.  
  • The US reported 1 million Covid-19 deaths, with more than 24 million suffering from long Covid.
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US President Joe Biden is pushing US lawmakers to release $10 billion in new Covid-19 funding as evidence suggests there could be 100 million infections in the fall and winter, according to reports.

The Washington Post reported a background press briefing by a senior White House administrative official on Friday that tried to emphasise the outside risks from "inaction" as falling immunity and waning vaccine efficacy leaves the US exposed to a record wave. 

A senior administrative official told CNN that the estimate was based on an underlying assumption of no additional resources or extra mitigation measures being taken, including new funding from Congress or dramatic new variants. The White House didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside normal working hours. 

There have been 81 million infections reported so far throughout the whole of the pandemic, according to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  

The White House is working to build US preparedness for a renewed wave of Covid-19 infections with the purchase of vaccines and therapeutics, as well as a boost to testing capacity. 

The Biden administration had initially asked for $22.5 billion in March, warning that "inaction will set us back in this fight, leave us less prepared, and cost us more lives." 

This was pared back to a $10 billion bipartisan bill, which has been held up in Congress for the last month in a reported attempt to extend former President Trump-era immigration reforms. 

In response to the blocking on April 6, Press Secretary Jen Psaki accused some Congress members of "skirting their responsibility to the American people."

"The virus is not waiting for Republicans in Congress to get their act together," Psaki said. "We know BA.2 is here." 

She added: "We know that it is more transmissible. We know that it is leading to increased cases, and we know we're already seeing an impact on our resources." 

According to the CDC, nearly 1 million Americans are reported to have died from Covid-19. The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation estimates that 80 million Americans have recovered from the virus, while more than 24 million are estimated to be suffering from "Long Covid."  

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