Proposed Republican, Democratic COVID-19 Relief Packages Differ On Vaccine Funding; Infectious Disease Experts, Bill Gates React, Call For U.S. Leadership

The Hill: GOP, Democratic relief packages $16B apart on vaccine funding
“Two competing coronavirus relief packages on Capitol Hill underscore differing GOP and Democratic funding priorities for vaccine development and COVID-19 testing. The Senate GOP measure released this week includes roughly $16 billion more for vaccine development than the House-passed HEROES Act, but falls far short of the Democratic proposal for testing and contract tracing funds…” (Bikales, 7/29).

Homeland Preparedness News: Infectious disease experts cite pros, cons of Senate GOP pandemic relief bill
“A proposed COVID-19 appropriations bill released on Monday by U.S. Senate Republicans takes solid steps toward providing urgently needed relief and resources, but it also falls short of necessary responses, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA)…” (Riley, 7/29).

USA TODAY: Bill Gates is quietly advocating for the U.S. to lead the global fight against COVID-19
“…[T]ucked into the latest Republican coronavirus stimulus proposal is $3 billion for coronavirus vaccines for poor countries. ‘That’s the most impactful money ever’ when it comes to bringing the pandemic to an end, Bill Gates told USA TODAY. Since early May, Gates has been quietly advocating for the United States to retake its leadership role in global public health. He said this week’s proposal represents a return to that role — though the commitment falls short of what he believes is needed. ‘The world’s not going to come together on this without the U.S.,’ he said…” (Weise, 7/29).