Congress Agrees to $8.3 Billion Coronavirus Emergency Funding

Includes $40 million in set-aside funding for Tribes, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 4, 2020

Congress Agrees to $8.3 Billion Funding Package in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

Today, House and Senate negotiators introduced an $8.3 billion package aimed at tackling the recent spread of COVID-19 ("coronavirus") in the United States. The package, under H.R.6074, provides billions of dollars to spearhead medical research and vaccine development, provide relief to local businesses impacted by the coronavirus, and bolster preparedness and response efforts for state, local, Tribal, and urban Indian health entities. Roughly $3 billion is allocated to the National Institutes of Health for research into vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and other measures. In addition, $1 billion is allocated for purchasing of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and another $264 million is to bolster operations at the U.S. Department of State. For a summary of the bill, click here .

Funding for Tribes, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations
In addition to the funding items outlined above, the bill includes $950 million in grants and cooperatives agreements to be administered through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for state and local governments, Tribal governments, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations for public health preparedness and response activities including epidemiology, lab capacity, infection control, communications, and other efforts. Thanks to continued advocacy across Indian Country, of the $950 million total, $40 million is set aside specifically for Tribes, Tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations .

In addition, the package includes language authorizing use of bill funds to reimburse federal agencies such as Indian Health Service, and also Tribes, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations that may have assumed costs related to coronavirus response and mitigation prior to enactment of the supplemental funding package.
With the House having cleared the bill earlier today, the Senate is expected to pass the bill by the end of the week or early next week.

In his remarks on the Senate floor yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) specifically brought attention to concerns around lack of available resources to address coronavirus cases and potential outbreaks in Indian Country, stating that: "Yesterday, we heard from the National Indian Health Board that Indian Health Service and Tribal health facilities are largely being left behind in the coronavirus response and have received few, if any, resources. This is unacceptable."

NIHB will continue to monitor the legislation and the health risks currently affecting Indian Country amid the coronavirus spread and will share timely updates as they become available.
NIHB Coronavirus Survey
NIHB is asking for Tribes' assistance in assessing the coronavirus prevention and response capacity in Indian Country. We are asking for this information because NIHB has the opportunity to share information on Tribal needs and advocate for resources with both the Congress and Administration.

To ensure that these efforts have the best possible impact, NIHB is gathering key information from as many Tribes as possible to create a comprehensive profile of what is needed. We ask that you please consider the questions at the link below and share any information you can with NIHB. This survey should take about 5-10 minutes to complete. You can access the survey here.

HHS-Tribal Leader COVID-19 Conference Call
The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are hosting an All Tribes call to provide updates on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for Tribal and Urban Indian Organization Leaders. Officials will provide an overview of COVID-19, preparedness efforts, and U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officer deployments. You will have an opportunity to provide comments and ask questions to federal officials..
 
Date:   Thursday, March 5, 2020
 
Time:   3:30 PM - 4:30 PM (Eastern)
 
Conference Call:  800-857-5577
 
Participant Passcode:  6703929
 
Webinar Adobe Connect:    https://ihs.cosocloud.com/r4k6jib09mj/
 
Participant Password:   ihs123



For any questions on Congressional measures regarding COVID-19, please contact NIHB Director of Congressional Relations, Shervin Aazami, at saazami@nihb.org



National Indian Health Board |  www.nihb.org
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