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Last Updated : Sep 08, 2020 11:08 PM IST | Source: Reuters

US Senate Republicans to propose $300 billion coronavirus aid bill

The bill would be augmented by some unspent funding from the CARES Act, which was enacted at the end of March, according to the aides who asked not to be identified.


US Senate Republican leaders on September 8 will introduce an approximately $300 billion coronavirus aid bill, according to senior aides, which Democrats promptly dismissed as insufficient for meeting the needs created by the pandemic.

The bill would be augmented by some unspent funding from the CARES Act, which was enacted at the end of March, according to the aides who asked not to be identified.

Included in the bill is $10 billion for the US Postal Service, which is girding for a large number of mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential and congressional elections as a result of people fearful of voting in person because of the coronavirus pandemic.


The $10 billion would turn a Postal Service loan in CARES to a grant if its cash reserve drops to $8 billion, according to a summary.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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"Senate Republicans appear dead-set on another bill which doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere," Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

"This proposal is laden with poison pills Republicans know Democrats would never support," they added.

In mid-May, the Democratic-controlled House approved a fifth coronavirus aid package totaling more than $3 trillion that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not brought up for a vote.

Last month, a series of negotiations between Democrats and the White House failed to produce a compromise, although Pelosi issued an offer that would have pared down that cost of her bill by around $1 trillion.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
First Published on Sep 8, 2020 11:07 pm