WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Thursday a $3.2 billion plan to build up the nation’s supply of drugs that can be used to treat Covid-19 and other viral threats in an effort to better prepare for future pandemics.
The plan will be called the Antiviral Program for Pandemics and the funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a press briefing.
“New antivirals that prevent serious COVID-19 illness and death, especially oral drugs that could be taken at home early in the course of disease, would be powerful tools for battling the pandemic and saving lives,” Fauci said in a statement.
“Through multidisciplinary collaborations among leading scientists in academia and industry, this investment from the American Rescue Plan to create the Antiviral Program for Pandemics will help inspire medical innovation and build on the extraordinary success we have seen in developing the COVID-19 vaccines,” he added.
In a press briefing, Fauci said that vaccines continue to be the centerpiece of the strategy against fighting Covid-19.
More than 600,000 people have died in the U.S. from Covid-19.
This story is developing and will be updated.