(Washington, DC) Today, Emily Barson, Executive Director of United States of Care, issued the following statement regarding the increased funding for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing included in the updated HEROES Act.
“When it comes to public health crises, people want action from their leaders to protect them and their families. United States of Care is pleased to see the updated HEROES Act contains $75 billion in funding for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, which is in line with our recommendations. We, along with our allies in public health, business, and communities across the country, recognize that America continues to confront the difficult balancing act of safely reopening businesses and schools while keeping the public safe. The road to recovery requires that we accelerate economic improvement before vaccine availability while bringing down COVID-19 case counts to levels where people feel confident enough to fully participate in America’s economic and social life. This investment in testing and contact tracing will allow us to do just that.
“Furthermore, we are delighted to see Congress heed our call to ‘come together to ensure all people living in our country are safe, including communities of color, people with disabilities, and those with chronic diseases who have faced a disproportionate burden from this pandemic.’”
The updated HEROES Act includes improved language to address the unique challenges wrought by the pandemic for people of color. It also directs the CDC to develop best practices for improving public compliance for isolation and containment measures in medically underserved areas as well as identifying specific strategies for improving testing and tracing in minority communities.