Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Phone: (202) 588-1000

Press Release

50+ Groups Urge Funding for COVID-19, Monkeypox Response Even After Congress Removes It From CR

WASHINGTON -

Congress should authorize the White House’s nearly $27 billion funding request to support the COVID-19 and Monkeypox virus (MPXV) response, more than 50 groups said in a letter to appropriations committee heads after they dropped the White House’s requested funding from the continuing resolution late Monday night.

The letter, organized by Oxfam America and Public Citizen, was signed by Families USA, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Partners In Health, and nearly 50 other groups as Congress seeks to finalize the FY 23 budget.

“Without additional funding, vaccination, treatment and testing programs will falter, as will American research and development efforts crucial to identifying tools to mitigate the effects of current and future pandemics,” notes the letter. “We urge you not to leave Americans and people all over the world vulnerable to continued risks of more death, disease and economic disruption from these public health emergencies.”

The letter also noted similar trajectories of unequal access to medical tools in both the COVID-19 pandemic and the MPXV response. Globally, people in lower-income countries are 1.3 times more likely to die from the pandemic than people in wealthy countries. Yet Congress has failed to approve any additional funding for the global response to COVID-19 in the past six months.

Of the 2.5 billion people globally who still have not received any COVID-19 vaccines, a disproportionate number live in lower-income countries. In the U.S., Black and Latino men are being disproportionately impacted by MPXV – representing more than two-thirds of U.S. cases – but less than one-third of first Jynneos vaccine doses administered. Brazil, which has had close to 10% of global MPXV cases, has not received any vaccines or treatments for the disease.

Domestically, the lack of supplemental funding has resulted in the end of free COVID-19 tests as well as an end to reimbursement to providers for COVID-19 care including vaccine administration for uninsured Americans, who are disproportionately people of color. “Additional funding can help ensure everyone in America is able to access the medical tools they need today and can help deliver the improved medical tools we need to better address COVID-19 in the future,” notes the letter.

Likewise, fulfilling the MPXV funding request will help ensure an adequate supply of Jynneos “and support Administration efforts to promote vaccine equity and conduct the research needed to understand vaccine effectiveness, optimal use of treatments and more,” notes the letter. “But an ongoing funding drought will stall research and force tradeoffs between responding to urgent health needs and ensuring we are taking the steps needed now to better prepare for future pandemic threats.”

###

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people – not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

Historic Offshore Wind Lease Sale in California Gets Over $750 Million in Winning Bids

"If we build on today's forward momentum, the United States can dramatically reduce its global warming emissions and become a global leader in renewable energy technologies like deep-water offshore wind."

Brett Wilkins ·


Solidarity Fund Up and Running for Designer Behind Iconic Bernie Sanders Posters

Tyler Evans "has dedicated his life to the progressive movement," says the GoFundMe created for the hospitalized designer. "Now it's our time to have Tyler's back when he and his family need it most."

Jessica Corbett ·


Journalism Defenders Push for Passage of 'Game-Changing' PRESS Act

"The PRESS Act is the most important free press legislation in modern times because it would finally stop the government from spying on journalists and threatening them with arrest for doing their jobs," explained one advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


New York Times Union Workers Planning Dec. 8 Walkout, Rally Over Pay

"Our collective action is working: Management backed off its attempt to kill our pension and agreed to expand fertility benefits," the union said of ongoing talks. "But management still barely budged on some of our most important priorities."

Jessica Corbett ·


Dems Back Blue Dog Spanberger for Swing District Post Over Progressive Cartwright

The corporate Democrat's path to victory was "pretty simple," said one progressive. "Matt Cartwright supports Medicare for All and Spanberger is a former CIA agent who spends all her time punching left."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo