SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced an agreement on a deal to move $10 billion in unspent COVID-19 funds, primarily from the American Rescue Plan, to help pay for other COVID-19-related projects.
In a statement released by his office, Sen. Romney said, “From the beginning, Senate Republicans have insisted that any new requests from the (Biden) Administration for COVID funding be paid for by repurposing existing funds.Today’s agreement does just that by repurposing $10 billion to provide needed domestic COVID health response tools.
Sen. Romney says half of the funding will be used for the development and purchase of therapeutics, which he says could potentially eliminate the need for future vaccine and mask mandates.
Sen. Romney also says the deal allows the funding to be moved without any additional taxpayer cost.
According to Sen. Romney’s office, $9.25 billion of the funding will go to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Of that funding, at least $5 billion will be used to research, develop, manufacture, produce, purchase, and administer therapeutics. $750 million will be spent on research and clinical trials for emerging coronavirus variants and to support the sustainment and expansion of vaccine manufacturing capacity.