Ottawa is putting $1.1 billion towards research and development over COVID-19.
In his daily address Thursday (Apr. 23), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the funding will go towards working on a vaccine, clinical trials and expanded testing.
The announcement includes $115 million for research into vaccines and treatments, $662 million for clinical trials and $350 million for national testing and modelling.
Trudeau says “testing is key”, and while Canada has reached 20,000 tests for the virus being done on a daily basis, he says testing needs to be expanded before the country can be reopened.
The creation of a COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, which will include a series of Canada’s top doctors, was also announced.
Trudeau says the task force will focus on blood testing to track and understand immunity to COVID-19.
Trudeau also announced that requests from Ontario and Quebec to send military members to help at long-term care homes in the province has been approved.
However, Trudeau says calling in the military to assist in long term-care homes isn’t a long term solution, adding “We shouldn’t have soldiers taking care of seniors.”
When asked about a hateful attack on an elderly Asian man in Vancouver, and other similar incidents across the country, Trudeau says “intolerance and racism have no place in our country.”