US House Passes a Massive Spending Bill—but Leaves out Billions in Covid Aid

The House passed a sweeping spending bill last night that omitted billions in Covid-19 aid. Biden administration officials had said the funds were urgently needed to maintain supplies of essential treatments and support further vaccine development, but Republicans disagreed. Some public health experts have expressed dismay that the pandemic relief money was cut, given the likelihood that new variants will continue to emerge. After all, viruses keep evolving until they run out of hosts to infect, and there are billions of people around the world—and millions in the US—who haven’t been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Cases continue to decline in the US, and a number of top voices in public health recently put out a report mapping when and how the country can transition out of the pandemic. Their recommendations include vaccinating at least 85 percent of the US population by 2023, improving indoor air quality in public buildings, and allocating additional funding for Covid-19 response and to prepare for future pandemics.

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