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House passes $8b in COVID-19 funding and a Rep's gas mask goes viral

Posted at 11:33 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 23:33:14-05

The Florida House voted to pass an $8 billion spending package on Wednesday, to deal with the coronavirus outbreak as lawmakers fight to control the spread of the disease.

More than $3 billion will go to funding research to develop a vaccine and diagnostic tests.

Another $2.2 billion will be used to help prevent the infections from spreading. Almost $1 billion of that will go to state and local health agencies.

In total, $7.8 billion will fund a response to COVID-19.

The measure also includes $500 million to pay for a telehealth program to help expand healthcare access to seniors.

The measure passed with a vote of 415 to 2, with 13 members abstaining, and inspired a viral twitter photo:

The measure will next need to be taken up by the Senate.

The White House is expected to back the deal.