APHA applauds passage of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act

Date: Mar 27 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reporters: To speak to APHA about the needs of the public heath workforce in battling COVID-19, contact Media Relations 

Washington, D.C., March 27, 2020 – The American Public Health Association applauds Congress for its continued bipartisan and bicameral work to provide additional funding and other protections to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, passed by the Senate and House this week, will support federal, state, local and tribal health departments and agencies as they work to protect the nation from the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

“This funding is essential for combating this deadly pandemic and to ensure our public health and medical professionals have the resources they need to meet the challenging demands they are now faced with,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD.

The bill provides an additional $4.3 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat COVID-19, with $1.5 billion of that total earmarked for state, local, tribal and other health agencies to carry out surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity, infection control, mitigation, communications and other preparedness and response.

Also within the CDC allocation is:

  • $300 million for the Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund,
  • $500 million for global disease detection and emergency response, and
  • $500 million for CDC’s ongoing public health data surveillance and analytics infrastructure modernization activities.

Among its other provisions, the CARES Act:

  • allocates $16 billion to the Strategic National Stockpile to strengthen and expand resources;
  • allots $3.5 billion to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the manufacture, production and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to combat COVID-19;
  • maintains CDC’s important role in coordinating with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in managing the Strategic National Stockpile;
  • establishes a Ready Reserve Corps within the U.S. Public Health Service to strengthen the ability of the U.S. health system to respond to COVID-19 and other public health emergencies;
  • supports the health care system and hospitals by providing funding for medical supplies, personal protective equipment, testing supplies and increased workforce trainings;
  • offers important resources for workers by expanding and bolstering unemployment benefits for people impacted by the pandemic; and
  • provides funding to assist people who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless.

“We are grateful to Congress for this latest bipartisan effort to combat the pandemic,” Benjamin said. “Moving forward, we know more will need to be done to blunt the impact of the pandemic on the nation.

“We will continue to advocate for additional measures needed to strengthen our public health system, ensure the safety of frontline workers, support protections for vulnerable communities and to further expand paid sick leave and family and medical leave.”

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.