Colorado to relax social, business coronavirus restrictions

Vials containing swabs used in nasal tests for COVID-19 are collected for transport to a laboratory after being administered outside the State Capitol to lawmakers and other state employees as well as any other individuals who requested to take the test Monday, June 15, 2020, in Denver.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette has sponsored a bill that would give to the federal agencies that depend on scientific research approximately $25 billion that they can award to research universities and other institutions whose operations the pandemic has disrupted.  

“These researchers are essential to our nation’s public health, national security, economic growth and international competitiveness,” DeGette said in a statement with the bipartisan group of other House sponsors. “Preserving our scientific infrastructure and protecting our innovation pipeline will help ensure U.S. leadership in the world and help us better respond to future pandemics.”

The Research Investment to Secure the Economy Act cites a slowdown in non-COVID-19 research activity given the modified operations of university-based laboratories. The money, which will go to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, and other government agencies, would extend existing grants and pay for researchers and materials on disrupted projects. Funding could also help reconfigure laboratories that were modified to respond to COVID-19 needs.

A provision of the bill allows grants for studies on the behavioral, social and economic effects of COVID-19.

“This important bill will ensure we continue progress on critical research areas where CU is a leader, such as the search for effective treatments for cancer and other diseases, the development of cutting-edge quantum information sciences, and protecting our nation’s cybersecurity,” University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy said.

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