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Faye Flam

Congress Must Pass Funding for More Covid Research

The US legislative branch has all but killed a bill needed to fight the looming BA.4 and BA.5 wave. 

Covid research won’t fund itself.

Covid research won’t fund itself.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Political opponents are usually too quick to label each other “anti-science.” But the label is entirely deserved when it comes to the US Congress, which has spent months denying a White House request for billions in additional Covid-19 research funds.

There’s still so much to learn about the pandemic. Are grocery stores major centers of disease spread? Gyms? Many people still prefer surgical masks to N95s — but do they work? Does social distancing still matter — and in which settings? Why have some people never gotten infected? Do third shots and fourth boosters make people less likely to transmit the virus?