From the Background: "The COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic has led to severe health and economic consequences across the globe, as governments work to contain the spread of the virus and its variants. Officials have instituted a range of physical lockdowns and quarantine measures. In late 2020, researchers identified several new COVID-19 variants, which present challenges to pandemic control. For example, parts of Brazil, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases believed to be caused in part by variants that have emerged in those countries. Vaccines and other countermeasures are playing a growing role in COVID-19 control. Researchers continue to study the safety and effectiveness of various COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Congress has appropriated approximately $15 billion through supplemental appropriations (P.L. 116-123, P.L. 116-136, P.L. 116-260, and P.L. 117-2) for a range of global COVID-19 responses. Congress authorized the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to use $4 billion of those funds in support of multilateral COVID19 vaccine efforts. Actions by the Biden Administration to deepen U.S. multilateral engagement, such as joining the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX), may lead to additional U.S. government support for global COVID-19 control."
CRS In Focus, IF11796
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/