A bill from Pfizer may eat up half of potential COVID-19 fund

The government has an outstanding $5 billion bill from Pfizer, representing half of the proposed COVID-19 relief fund currently being debated in the Senate. It's possible that the Biden administration will use the fund to pay Pfizer, reported Bloomberg April 5.

The government owes Pfizer almost $5 billion for COVID-19 treatment pills it already ordered. Two senior officials told Bloomberg that the Biden administration plans to pay Pfizer for the 20 million courses of the antiviral pill using funds generated by the new pandemic relief bill. Another senior official said that it's unclear where the money to pay Pfizer would come from, and the White House declined to comment. 

The bill is currently stalling over disagreements regarding pandemic immigration laws. It was initially slated to be worth $22.5 billion, but after negotiations between parties, the fund was reduced to $10 billion, half of which is required to be spent on therapeutics. 

"The bill is a start," Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator said at a press briefing March 5. "Congress must keep working to immediately provide additional funding for our remaining domestic needs."


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