CVS Health is returning $43 million in coronavirus relief funds

Best Western CEO David Kong tells CNN's Poppy Harlow that the government needs to provide "some flexibility in the loan and also extend the coverage period and provide much needed additional funding."

Posted: May 20, 2020 7:34 AM


CVS Health is returning more than $43 million it received from the federal government as part of coronavirus relief.

In a letter Tuesday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, CVS chief executive Larry Merlo indicated his company received the funds as part of the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. He said it was an automatic distribution from HHS and that CVS did not request the money.

The fund provides $175 billion to hospitals and healthcare providers involved in the coronavirus response, according to the HHS website.

"We have made the decision to return the funds and forgo participation in subsequent disbursements," Merlo said. "In doing so, we hope to help HHS provide additional support to other providers who are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the pandemic."

CVS Health has continued to operate through the pandemic. In March, the company indicated it would hire 50,000 people across the United States.

And in April, the company announced it would expand Covid-19 testing capabilities.

Still, the pandemic has weighed heavily on the company's stock, as it has on the rest of Wall Street. Shares of CVS are down more than 14% since the beginning of the year.

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