FCC Head Ajit Pai Suggests Devoting Stimulus Cash On Tech Giving Coronavirus Victims Instant Access To Doctors

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is suggesting that $200 million of the coronavirus stimulus package should go to technology that will help beat back the virus pandemic.

Pai proposed the idea to create a telehealth program that would give doctors and practitioners purchase equipment for remove services, which would negate the need for patients to make unnecessary hospital visits. The other FCC commissioners would have to approve the program.

Such a program would allow doctors to work with patients without putting themselves at risk of contracting coronavirus, or COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China, before skipping across the globe and landing in the United States, where it has killed 3,500 people.

“As we self-isolate and engage in social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth will continue to become more and more important across the country,” Pai said in a statement Monday announcing the plan. (RELATED:  Former Rep Hopes Coronavirus Fallout Convinces US To Distrust Chinese Tech, Build Up Its Own 5G)

A healthcare worker covers a container for the samples taken to drivers at a drive-through testing point for the COVID-19 disease at the University Hospital in Burgos on March 28, 2020. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Phase three of the Senate bill would give $1,200 checks to every American, with married couples receiving $2,400. That check will go to Americans making less than $75,000 per year. Income earners who make above $99,000 would not receive any money.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Americans in February to prepare for the “expectation that this might be bad,” with Italy emerging as the focal point of the virus in Europe, while Iran and China seeks ways of fighting the spread as confirmed cases grow.

“I’m calling on my fellow Commissioners to vote promptly to adopt the draft order I circulated today, so that we can take immediate steps to provide support for telehealth services and devices to health care providers during this national crisis.”

The FCC has not yet responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about Pai’s plan.

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