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A version of this story first appeared in D.C. Diagnosis, STAT’s weekly newsletter about the politics and policy of health and medicine. Sign up here to receive it in your inbox.

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and congressional staff typically use the annual appropriations process to take on political pet projects — making their views on genetically engineered salmon or soy milk known through the text of bills that allocate funding for agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, for example.


But this year, things are different: Democratic appropriators used many of their so-called appropriations “reports” to rail against the Trump administration’s Covid-19 response.

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