Much of the federal funding that has been allocated toward fighting COVID-19 has been spent. The Biden administration has begun warning that the government may be unable to provide important supplies if more funding is not allocated quickly, before an anticipated COVID-19 surge in the fall and winter months. Still, many debate whether the nation needs added funding for vaccines, research and other tools in the fight against COVID-19.
We asked two professors and authors of ALM’s Tax Facts with opposing political viewpoints to share their opinions about whether additional federal funds should be allocated to COVID-19.
Below is a summary of the debate that ensued between the two professors.
Bloink: We need to continue to allocate federal funds to fighting COVID-19. Sure, we’re returning to normal. The virus has become much less dangerous now that we have vaccines and other tools to fight off serious illness. On the other hand, those tools can only be effective if they’re available. Failure to allocate sufficient federal funds to COVID relief creates a serious risk that we may be forced to return to early pandemic precautions.
Byrnes: There isn’t any urgent need for additional COVID-19 funding as the situation stands right now and the government has much more pressing issues that should be addressed first. As always, determining priorities when it comes to allocating limited federal funds is a complex matter. The country is struggling with sky-high inflation and soaring gas prices, and we need to first take steps to address those issues before we worry about yet another round of COVID funding.