US senators push for cooperation with Israel on COVID-19 research

The proposed budget would cover cooperation on technology such as artificial intelligence, sensors, monitoring devices and more.

A medical technologist tests a respiratory panel at Northwell Health Labs, where the same test will be used on the COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, after being authorized to begin semi-automated testing by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Lake Success, New York, U.S (photo credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON)
A medical technologist tests a respiratory panel at Northwell Health Labs, where the same test will be used on the COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, after being authorized to begin semi-automated testing by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Lake Success, New York, U.S
(photo credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON)
WASHINGTON – Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) said on Thursday that they would promote a bipartisan bill to create a partnership between Israel and the US to treat the novel COVID-19.
The two released a joint statement announcing their intention to push for a $12 million appropriation in the next relief bill, “to enhance partnerships between companies in the United States and Israel to develop innovative medical projects aimed at detecting, treating, and curing COVID-19.”
According to the proposed bill, named “Expanding Medical Partnerships with Israel to Lessen Dependence on China Act,” the Secretary of Health and Human Services could invest up to $4m. every year from 2021 through 2023 in bilateral programs and grants related to the coronavirus. The proposed budget would cover cooperation on technologies such as artificial intelligence, sensors, monitoring devices, drugs and vaccinations, respiratory assist devices, diagnostic tests, telemedicine and remote monitoring.
“I’ve long said that China poses the most significant, long-term geopolitical threat to the US,” said Cruz. “Our dependence on China for life-saving medications and treatments is deeply problematic.
“Israel is not only our friend and ally, but also a global leader in medicine with which we already cooperate on exactly those issues. I’m proud to push forward to ensure both American and Israeli companies can work together to develop cures and treatments to defeat COVID-19,” Cruz said.
Senator Coons added that the US and Israel are world leaders in the medical technology industry, “and it is in the interest of all Americans, Israelis, and the rest of the world that we work together to fight COVID-19. This virus knows no borders, and our bill underscores the importance of international collaboration in the face of a truly global pandemic."
 


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