Last week, congressional leaders and the White House struck a bipartisan deal on a 3rd COVID-19 stimulus package. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act totals $2 trillion and has some provisions specifically related to federal research that I wanted to share with you all. Please be advised that the funding included in this package is a mix of intramural and extramural.
National Institutes of Health – The bill includes $945 million to support research to expand on prior research plans, including developing an improved understanding of the prevalence of COVID-19, its transmission and the natural history of infection, and novel approaches to diagnosing the disease and past infection, and developing countermeasures for the prevention and treatment of its various stages.
National Endowment for the Art and Humanities – Provides $150 million to state arts and humanities agencies to provide grants and support arts organizations, museums, libraries, and other organizations during the coronavirus crisis. The bill includes $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $75 million for the National Endowment of the Humanities.
National Science Foundation –$75 million for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support research at molecular, cellular, physiological and ecological levels to better understand coronavirus genetics, modes of action, transmission, virulence and population dynamics. NSF is ready to mobilize the full force of the academic community including through Rapid Response Research (RAPID) proposals.
DOD Medical Research – $415 million for research and development – Military medical research programs have developed promising vaccines and anti-viral pharmaceuticals, which require additional investment for testing.
Economic Development Administration (EDA) – The bill provides $1.5 billion for economic adjustment assistance to help revitalize local communities after the pandemic. EDA assistance can be used to help rebuild impacted industries such as tourism or manufacturing supply chains, capitalize local funds to provide low-interest loans to businesses of all sizes, and support other locally-identified priorities for economic recovery. Based on the impact of prior funding packages, EDA disaster assistance will leverage an additional $20 billion in local and private investment and support more than 100,000 American jobs.
The bill also includes funding to support higher education institutions. $14.250 billion will be available for higher education emergency relief for institutions of higher education to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. Funds may be used to defray expenses for institutions of higher education, such as lost revenue, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, and grants to students for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.
We are expecting Congress to develop additional recovery legislation as well. As always, we will continue to track these developments closely and share all relevant updates with you in a timely manner.