US Gov’t Announces $1.7 Bn in Funding To Address COVID-19 Variants

The Biden Administration has announced $1.7 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan to help states and other jurisdictions address COVID-19 variants.

The original strain of COVID-19 comprises only about half of all cases, according to information from a White House fact sheet issued on April 16, 2021. In early February (February 2021), US laboratories were sequencing about 8,000 COVID-19 strains per week. The Biden Administration has already made a nearly $200-million investment to help increase genomic sequencing to 29,000 samples per week. The new $1.7 billion in funding will further increase that level.

The $1.7-billion funding, allocated through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will help the CDC, states, and other jurisdictions detect and track COVID-19 variants by scaling genomic sequencing efforts.

The US government is allocating: (1) $1 billion to expand genomic sequencing; (2) $400 million to support innovation initiatives, including the launch of six Centers of Excellence in Genomic Epidemiology; and (3) $300 million to build and support a National Bioinformatics Infrastructure.

The first tranche of funding will be distributed in early May (May 2021). A second tranche of funding will be invested over the next several years.

A breakdown of the areas of focus for the funding by states and jurisdictions can be found here.

Source: The White House

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