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Blunt Outlines Top Priorities in Next Coronavirus Relief Bill

July 21, 2020

WASHINGTON  At the Republican leadership press conference today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, discussed Senate Republicans’ top priorities for the next coronavirus relief bill.

Blunt noted that he and his Republican colleagues are calling for additional resources for coronavirus tests, vaccines, and therapeutics and another round of funding for schools, childcare facilities, and businesses.

Following Are Blunt’s Remarks:

“Well, I spent quite a bit of yesterday and this morning with Secretary Mnuchin and the chief of staff, most importantly, from our point of view, with the chairman of the appropriating committee, Chairman Shelby, and Senator Alexander, talking about the appropriating part of the bill.

“Basically, we’re for back to school, back to work, back to childcare, and back to better health. That all takes more testing, more therapeutics, vaccines that are not only developed as quickly as we can develop them, but properly, and fairly, and equitably delivered.

“I think today the White House is announcing, or at least NIH is announcing, that of the 15,200 nursing homes in the country, the first 638 are getting self-contained testing equipment today where they can do tests and verify those tests right there at the facility.

“Within the next five or six weeks, 2,500 of those 15,000 nursing homes will have that kind of equipment. And hopefully in the not-too-distant future, all 15,200 of them will have equipment on-site where nursing home patients can be tested as can everybody that comes into that facility as a worker or a visitor.

“And it’s also going to be an important part of going back to school, going back to work, going back to school, going back to campus living. All those things require tests that work, that are easily taken, that are quickly responded to.

“Frankly, the president’s right when he says a test that you don’t know the result of for five or six or seven days doesn’t really do nearly as much good as a test that you would know the result of in 15 or 20 minutes. And know how that impacts your life and everybody you’re going to be associating with.

“And so we’re focusing on back to school, back to work, back to childcare, back to better health, in the appropriating part of this bill we’re putting together.”

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