Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — Governor Roy Cooper sent a letter to the North Carolina Congressional Delegation urging Congress to act immediately on a funding package for COVID-19 so that the state can stay ready in the event of a future surge.

“North Carolina’s COVID-19 metrics continue to decline, ushering in a new phase of COVID-19 where the virus is still with us but not disrupting us. However, to succeed in this phase and not go backward, Congress must act immediately on the pending COVID-19 supplemental funding package so we can prepare for the next surge and stop it from overwhelming us,” Cooper wrote in the letter.

The letter urges Congress to make national investments in vaccines, boosters, therapeutics and testing to help sustain the production of supplies. Stable, consistent federal funding will support production and supply efforts.

This week, North Carolina has seen its allocation of highly effective monoclonal antibody treatments reduced by more than 30 percent due to insufficient federal funds. The state has exceeded its budgeted funds for testing due to back-to-back Delta and Omicron surges and record-setting community testing efforts. The governor’s letter encourages leaders to stockpile supplies to prepare for future threats.

The COVID-19 Uninsured Program has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to North Carolina providers as reimbursement for testing, treatment and vaccination administrations for the uninsured. The Uninsured Program has stopped accepting new claims for testing and treatment and will soon stop accepting new vaccination claims. Without the supplemental funding package, providers will have to absorb the cost or turn away uninsured people who are already high-risk for health crises.

Cooper urges the N.C. Congressional Delegation to prioritize the COVID-19 funding and to not offset this spending by reducing other COVID-19 relief funding received by the state. The other funding is critical to the state’s ongoing recovery efforts for businesses, high-speed internet and local government support.

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Read Governor Cooper’s letter HERE.

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