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Valley congressman urges more research funding needed to combat coronavirus

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MISSION – Millions of dollars are being used to combat the novel coronavirus in the U.S. and the cost is likely to rise.

The total amount is approaching a billion dollars. Currently, it stands at $700 million.

Congressman Henry Cuellar held a press conference Wednesday to address what he’s learned from several federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC explained it identified the genetic strain in the coronavirus (COVID-19). It also created a diagnostic test able to detect the virus in people.

More research to develop a vaccine will require more funding. Cuellar explained they’re not the only agency who will need more money.

“The departments that probably would need this supplemental funding is CDC, National Institute of Health, and three is Homeland Security, which is Border Patrol and, of course, CBP because some come through legal ports of entry and some come illegally,” said Cuellar.

They don’t have an idea yet of how much more funding will be required.

This month, a letter was sent to the administration from the House Appropriations Committee, which Cuellar sits on. In it, they are requesting specific amounts to be detailed in order to know how much to allocate to those agencies for the supplemental funding.

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