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U.S. Senate passes $8.3 billion response to spread of coronavirus

United State capitol in Washington, D.C. © iStock - Muni Yogeshwaran
The Center Square

The U.S. Senate voted near unanimously Thursday to approve $8.3 billion in new spending on the U.S. government's efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Senate passed the emergency spending plan 96-1 a day after the House passed it 415-2. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the measure.

As of Friday morning, 12 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. and more than 200 people were confirmed as contracting the new coronavirus in the country.

The legislation provides more than $2 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for prevention, preparedness and response actions toward the virus.

It allocates more than $3 billion to a public health emergency fund and the National Institutes of Health to research and develop vaccines, treatment, and testing of the coronavirus. It also provides $1.3 billion to help Americans living abroad protect themselves against the virus. And it allocates $500 million toward the development of a remote health care program.