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Montana is set to receive $1.25 billion as part of this week’s $2.2 trillion stimulus package. 

On Wednesday, Senator Steve Daines held a press conference laying out some of the many line items in the legislation, one of which is money specifically for testing of Coronavirus. 

It’s a topic we’ve talked about quite a bit over the last two weeks--it can be pretty difficult to get tested for COVID-19 unless you meet the specific guidelines laid out by the CDC. And even then, tests are limited, so healthcare providers have to be careful with how they’re used and distributed. 

With $100 billion going towards healthcare facilities and medical supplies across the country, Daines says the money could mean the difference in how the country comes out of this pandemic. 

“One of the keys to getting ahead of this pandemic is going to be widespread testing. I think the South Koreans demonstrated that to us with a widespread testing that allowed them to get ahead of the curve,” said Daines during Wednesday’s call.

In addition, Daines says the legislation includes $11 billion to go towards drug development that would treat and prevent COVID-19 in the future. 

The package has passed the Senate, but still needs to go back to the House for a vote. That’s expected to happen Friday morning, and the President has indicated he will sign the package into law. 

We also spoke with Senator Jon Tester about the stimulus package, specifically in regards to Indian Country. You can read that story here.

 

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