Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced on Thursday that they will seek to appropriate $12 million in upcoming legislation to enhance partnerships between companies in the United States and Israel to develop innovative medical projects aimed at detecting, treating and curing coronavirus.

“The United States and Israel are world leaders in the medical technology industry, and it is in the interest of all Americans, Israelis and the rest of the world that we work together to fight COVID-19,” said Coons. “This virus knows no borders, and our bill underscores the importance of international collaboration in the face of a truly global pandemic.”

“I’ve long said that China poses the most significant, long-term geopolitical threat to the United States. Our dependence on China for life-saving medications and treatments is deeply problematic,” said Cruz. “Israel is not only our friend and ally, but also a global leader in medicine with which we already cooperate on exactly those issues.”

The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations applauded the development.

“The U.S. and Israel are among the most medically advanced countries in the world,” said the umbrella organization in a statement on Friday. “As the medical sectors of both nations race to develop methods to combat this pandemic, Americans and Israelis stand to benefit immensely by increased cooperation and collaboration.”

Congress is expected to pass a fourth piece of legislation to provide assistance in responding to the pandemic. Last month, Congress passed an unprecedented spending bill to provide $2.1 trillion in assistance to Americans and businesses affected by the outbreak.

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.