New York Democratic lawmakers are seeking $1 million to fund research into new treatments for COVID-19 that could prevent the pandemic’s death toll.
The effort comes amid an effort to expand Medicaid coverage of vaccinations in New York state and across the country, and to help fund the medical innovation program, which is administered by the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The proposal would be funded through the state Health Insurance Exchanges.
The bill also calls for $1,500 to fund a study on the efficacy of vaccines and how they can prevent the coronavirus.
The legislation was first introduced in May.
The New York State Democrats said they hope to use the funds to develop new vaccine formulations for people with the virus.
The House Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee last week approved the measure, which passed on a 24-13 vote, with Democrats supporting the measure.
In addition to the funding for research, the legislation also seeks to provide a program for individuals and families in need of assistance with childcare and other expenses related to the coronivirus pandemic.
“As a community we are experiencing a resurgence of coronaviruses that have infected millions and millions of Americans, but this is the first pandemic where so many families are now struggling with the financial burden and financial challenges of a new disease,” state Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
“This is why it is so critical that the state and the federal government work together to help families and individuals like me to navigate the transition from a new coronaviral infection to a new pandemic.”
The proposal is a response to an earlier proposal to expand the use of vaccines by the New York City Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which was approved by the House Health and Welfare Committee in March.
More than 3 million people have been infected with COVID in the United States, which has been one of the world’s deadliest killers.
It has killed more than 3,300 people and infected 2,600, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New York State and other states across the United Nations have been seeking to expand coverage of the vaccines.