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Officials push for pandemic funding ahead of possible COVID surge

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Health officials are warning the country could face a surge in COVID infections in the fall, and with federal COVID funds running out, there are concerns that testing, treatment and the vaccines don’t run out either.

The Biden administration says there will be serious consequences if Congress does not approve more COVID funding.

“More Americans will die unnecessarily,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says it’s important to prepare for what COVID brings next.

“We have to be prepared for the possibility that we have an increase in cases as we approach the fall,” Fauci said. “We may have to increase the population on an annual basis, I’m not saying that’s absolutely the case, but it’s entirely conceivable.”

The White House wants $22.5 billion, but senators were only able to strike a deal for $10 billion before those negotiations fell apart.

Republicans block COVID funding over plans to end Title 42, the pandemic policy that has barred migrants from seeking asylum.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) said “this really is a national security crisis, as well as a health crisis. Until they get serious about it, I think they’re going to have some tough sledding in Congress on both sides of the aisle.

However, the White House says COVID funding should not be held hostage by Title 42, as the decision to end it comes from the CDC.

Meanwhile, officials say more COVID funds are essential.

“To get newer and better boosters for the different variants that are with us or will evolve,” Dr. Fauci said.

The White House says that without more money, some programs, like government-subsidized testing, vaccinations and treatments, could end abruptly.

“There is no plan B,” Psaki said.


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