7 ways the $4.5 trillion in COVID-19 relief funds supported healthcare investment

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In total, the federal government spent $4.52 trillion for COVID-19 relief, which allowed for several sectors to make needed investments, The New York Times Magazine reported Nov. 24. 

About $662 billion of this spending went to the healthcare industry. Here are seven ways COVID-19 relief funding changed healthcare:

1. $80 billion went to Medicaid coverage, while $23 billion went to COBRA coverage through September.

2. Vaccine and therapeutics research and development also received a large sum, about $53 billion. Moderna received $10 billion and Pfizer $11 billion.

3. Funding went to biomedical research beyond pharmaceutical companies, with $6 billion directly to COVID-19 and vaccine research.

4. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases operated on a budget of $5.89 billion but received an additional $4.53 billion in COVID-19 funding to study and create treatments, protocols and diagnostics for the disease.

5. Funding helped create vaccines in record time. This included supporting clinical-trial cohorts, which led to quicker development and quicker FDA approval.

6. Money to small businesses also helped the healthcare industry, such as the Broken Arrow, Okla.-based Rapid Application Group. The company started by supplying masks to a Tulsa hospital but now designs robots that can sanitize infectious-disease wards.

7. COVID-19 relief funding provided billions to improve broadband access, which has allowed people to work, learn and seek medical attention from home. But although the funding helps build access, it doesn't promise means to sustain it, according to the report.

 

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