Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) talks to constituents about drug prices. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) talks to constituents about drug prices.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger announced $2.6 million in federal funding for Virginia hospitals to purchase additional medical equipment and support preparedness planning to fight the coronavirus.

The funding from the Health and Human Services department is made possible by the CARES Act, which Spanberger supported and voted to pass back in March. According to Spanberger’s office, the legislation allocates millions in additional funding for states across the U.S. to better equip their hospitals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With Virginia gradually reopening, we must take strong, targeted steps to keep our healthcare workers safe, deliver quality care to Virginia patients, and prepare for future outbreaks of COVID-19. This much-needed funding from HHS is another step toward strengthening the Commonwealth’s response and preparing our healthcare providers for the weeks and months ahead,” said Spanberger in a statement.

“I’d like to thank the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association and its members for working around the clock to prepare our healthcare facilities for the challenges that may arise due to COVID-19, and I’ll keep fighting for the resources our communities need to weather this pandemic together.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, many states scrambled to find enough medical equipment and personal protective gear for patients and caregivers. The federal government struggled to respond once officials realized how few ventilators were in good working order within the national stockpile.

Experts expect the coronavirus to make a resurgence during the fall and winter months until there is a vaccine readily available. Allocating additional funding and taking time to plan for possible scenarios could help Virginia and other states prevent the deaths of thousands of Americans. 

“This is a positive step to equip us for the weeks ahead,” Spanberger said of the new funding on Twitter. “We can’t quit on those who have suffered disproportionately during this crisis, particularly seniors and racial minorities.”