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U.S. to spend $3.2 billion on treatments for COVID-19 and other viruses

FILE - In this May 11, 2021, file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. The United States is devoting more than $3 billion to advance development of antiviral pills for COVID-19, according to an official briefed on the matter. The pills, which would be used to minimize symptoms after infection, are in development and could begin arriving by year's end, pending the completion of clinical trials. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Photo via AP, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:46 PM PT – Thursday, June 17, 2021

The White House has committed $3.2 billion to antiviral pills and treatments for COVID-19 and other viruses. The new investment was unveiled during a White House briefing on Thursday.

Officials said the funds will be used to advance development of several treatments for viruses, which have pandemic potential. This includes Coronavirus, Ebola, West Nile and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

The U.S. has so far only approved one antiviral drug known as Remdesivirv for the treatment of COVID-19. While this drug is administered intravenously to hospitalized patients, health experts have increased calls for an oral treatment individuals can take right at the onset of symptoms.

The White House confirms it has already committed to buying 1.7 million doses of an experimental antiviral pill from Merck if proven to be effective and safe.

MORE NEWS: President Trump Says COVID-19 Resulted From ‘Accidental’ Lab Leak

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