COVID-19 has upended virtually every area of American life as people continue to experience its extraordinary consequences. During the COVID-19 public health response, it has also become painfully apparent the long-ignored disparities and structural barriers underserved communities have faced for years, and recently reflected in the deaths and infections from COVID-19. However, in the midst of the current public health response, we’re witnessing the culmination of ignored social disparity that have bared great weight on underserved communities for years, and the tragic consequences only serve as a reminder. This is reflected and substantiated as reported deaths from the virus dramatically overrepresent communities of color. To mitigate these effects, and in-line with our April 14 federal policy recommendations, a bipartisan group of U.S. House Members authored a letter to congressional leadership lifting up many of USofCare’s suggestions to be included in any future COVID-19 legislative responses.
These suggestions include:
- Funding for contact tracing and testing
- Funding for federal, state and local departments of public health
- Funding for community health centers
- COVID-19 related funding for the Indian Health Service
- Increased funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment
We thank the more than 80 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives who signed this vital letter and hope Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell and Democratic Leader Senator Schumer consider these thoughtful, and necessary, public health investments.