03.22.20

Daines Leading Charge on Accelerated Drug Development, Manufacturing for Coronavirus

Secures Over $10 Billion for Drug Development after working with NIH, FDA, BARDA, White House on Plan

U.S. SENATE –U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced a plan and over $10 billion in funding for accelerated drug development and manufacturing to treat and prevent the Coronavirus. Daines has been working with top healthcare and medical leaders including National Institute of Health Director Dr. Collins, Federal Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Hahn, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Director Dr. Bright, Former Federal Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Gottlieb, and the White House on a bold plan to accelerate the development of drugs to treat and prevent Coronavirus.

Daines on Corona Drugs

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"One important area we need to focus on right now is to be able to get drugs that will treat and prevent the Coronavirus in the hands of the people of Montana and across our great country,” Daines said. "I’ve been spending a lot of time speaking with the best scientists that we know from the National Institute of Health, FDA.. and we’re collaborating to move as quickly as we can in safe way to make sure we get these drugs in the hands of the American people as soon as possible. I’m pleased to announce I secured some important funding in the economic recovery package we’re going to vote on Monday that does exactly that. Dollars we can use to speed these processes up that will prevent and treat the coronavirus. There’s great American innovation going on right now as we speak and I’ve got dollars to accelerate that.”

On Face The Nation today, former FDA Commissioner Dr. Gottlieb touted Daines’ work on accelerating drug development.

Face the nation coronavirus drugs

To watch the full remarks, click HERE.

Dr. Gottlieb also wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal saying, “For the most promising drugs, we should scale up manufacturing before we know for sure if they work. That means producing millions of doses while trials are under way. Sen. Steve Daines (R., Mont.) has suggested adding a provision to this effect to one of the relief bills in Congress. We have to be ready to distribute a drug on a massive scale as soon as it is proved safe and effective.”

Part of his Coronavirus relief efforts, Daines had made it a top priority to support funding that will accelerate drug development to treat and prevent the Coronavirus.

Background:   

Daines has been leading the efforts in Congress to respond to the coronavirus outbreak impacting the country.    

Three weeks ago, Daines brought his proposal and ideas to President Trump at a meeting in the White House. 

On March 21st, 2020, Daines announced that President Trump signed his bipartisan bill, the Emergency GI Fix for Coronavirus School Closures, into law. This legislation will stop veterans, and those who depend on them, from losing GI Bill education benefits during the Coronavirus outbreak.

On March 21st, 2020, Daines sent a letter to Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urging inclusion of expanded and robust federal unemployment insurance in the Coronavirus economic relief package in negotiations today. 

On March 20th, 2020, Daines urged President Trump to prioritize the shipment of essential goods such as medical supplies, agricultural commodities, and energy, which will help local Montana businesses and border communities, during ongoing negotiations with Canada over travel restrictions in response to the Coronavirus pandemic

On March 20th, 2020, Daines cosponsored a bipartisan bill that provides relief to Montana ranchers during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

On March 20th, 2020, President Trump extended the tax filing deadline three months, from April 15th 2020 to  July 15th, 2020. Earlier this week, Daines introduced a bipartisan bill urging the administration do so.

On March 20th, 2020, Daines cosponsored a bipartisan bill that provides relief to Montana ranchers during the Coronavirus outbreak.

On March 19th, 2020, Daines sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Wilkie stressing the need to care for veterans in Montana who struggle with mental health and who may be found to have increased stress during the coronavirus outbreak. 

On March 19th, 2020, Daines introduced legislation to extend the tax filing deadline from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020 to provide additional relief to Montanans during the coronavirus outbreak.

On March 19th, 2020, Daines cosponsored a bill to appropriate $17 billion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make payments on all 7a, 504, and microloans for the next six months.

On March 18th, 2020, Daines voted for a Coronavirus relief bill which requires free testing for the Coronavirus, ensures paid and sick family leave for Montana’s families and workers and provides emergency nutritional assistance for seniors, women, children and low income families. This bill, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, is Phase Two of Congress’ response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

On March 18th, 2020, Daines sponsored legislation to delay the impact of the recent accounting rule change for current expected credit losses (CECL) during the coronavirus outbreak.

On March 17th, 2020, Daines introduced legislation to require private health insurance plans to cover treatments or vaccines for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, with no cost sharing.

On March 17th, 2020, Daines announced the Trump administration will be expanding access to Medicare telehealth services during the coronavirus outbreak.

On March 17th, 2020, Daines called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to enable thousands of federal civil servants, who have experience with rapid emergency response, to assist rural communities that are increasingly overwhelmed by the challenge of responding to the Coronavirus outbreak.   

On March 17th, 2020, Daines announced the Small Business Administration (SBA) declared that Flathead, Gallatin, Missoula, Sheridan, Silver Bow, Wheatland, Beaverhead, Broadwater, Daniels, Deer Lodge, Fergus, Glacier,  Golden Valley, Granite, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Madison, Meagher, Mineral, Park, Pondera, Powell, Ravalli, Roosevelt, Sanders, Sweet Grass, and Teton counties will be eligible to apply for additional funding under the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Declaration.

On March 17th, 2020, Daines introduced a bipartisan bill that directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to delay enforcement of REAL ID for at least one year in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Daines has been proactively working with the Trump administration on a delay of REAL ID for Montana.

On March 17th, 2020, Daines unveiled three more major proposals that will help protect Montana’s workers, families, first responders and small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

On March 16th, 2020, Daines announced that the Senate passed his bipartisan bill that protects veterans and their dependents from losing GI Bill education benefits during the Coronavirus outbreak while they take part in online classes.

On March 16th, 2020, Daines announced $4.5 million awarded to Montana to help support the coronavirus response and protect public health. 

On March 16th, 2020, Daines urged President Trump to ensure Montana tribal communities have access to federal assistance during coronavirus outbreak.

On March 14th, 2020, Daines urged Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Azar and the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Gaynor to ensure Indian Health Service (IHS) has the resources needed to provide coronavirus testing for tribal communities.

On March 13th, 2020, Daines issued a statement yesterday on President Trump declaring a national emergency for coronavirus.

On March 12th, 2020, Daines introduced bipartisan legislation to provide disaster unemployment assistance to people who are unable to work due to the current coronavirus outbreak. Assistance would be available to individuals, including self-employed individuals and independent contractors, who are sick, quarantined, furloughed, or whose family circumstances keep them from working or reduce their pay as a result of the coronavirus outbreak or government containment efforts.

On March 9th, 2020, Daines unveiled a slate of proposals and priorities he’s working to advance that will help protect Montana families and their finances during the Coronavirus outbreak including paid leave, temporarily waiving payroll taxes, providing relief from tariffs, and ensuring access to affordable testing.

On March 9th, 2020, Daines sent a letter urging the Trump administration to take swift action to make testing for the Coronavirus affordable.

The following day the IRS immediately announced it would adopt Daines’ proposal to remove financial barriers to testing and treatment for the Coronavirus by allowing high deductible health plans to cover Coronavirus-related testing and treatment before a patient has met their deductible.   

Congress passed the Coronavirus emergency supplemental earlier this month which included $8.3 billion to combat this crisis, including nearly $1 billion for state and local preparedness and response.

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