Federal aid would help states and communities administer vaccines by recruiting and training hundreds of thousands of Americans to build public health capacity
Lawmakers’ proposal would invest billions in local public health jobs and infrastructure in a comprehensive effort to combat the coronavirus
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Jack Reed (D-RI), announced the introduction of the Health Force, Resilience Force, and Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act, legislation that would invest billions in the nation’s public health jobs and aid the country’s lagging vaccine distribution campaign. The bicameral legislation will be introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Jason Crow (CO-06), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Lauren Underwood (IL-14), and Dean Phillips (MN-03).
As the United States continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic and rebuild the economy, this funding would support already overburdened state and local health departments, provide jobs for thousands of recently unemployed Americans, and directly support the nation’s efforts to recover from the current crises.
“The coronavirus pandemic has created the greatest health threat in a generation and triggered the worst jobs crisis since the Great Depression. Now, with vaccine rollout underway, investing in community-based public health jobs to improve vaccine education, outreach, and completion rates has never been more important,” said Senator Klobuchar. “This new legislation will provide the resources needed to get folks back to work and effectively combat this virus.”
In May, Klobuchar and Schatz introduced the Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act to create a new jobs program to help states recruit, train, and hire more than a million workers to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Now, the comprehensive Health Force, Resilience Force, and Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act will carry this legislation forward by:
- Investing billions in local public health infrastructure to recruit, train, and employ hundreds of thousands of Americans to build public health capacity in underserved communities (forming the “Health Force”).
- Bolstering the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) workforce in the whole-of-government effort to combat the COVID-19 outbreak (forming the “Resilience Force”).
Health Force, Resilience Force, and Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act has been endorsed by leading public health organizations, health care organizations, and world-renowned experts, including Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), Greater New York Hospital Association, HealthBegins, Families USA, National Coalition of STD Directors, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Peace Corps Association, Partners In Health, Resilience Force, Right to Health Action (R2H Action), Service Employees International Union, and more.
A one-pager of the Health Force, Resilience Force, and Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act can be found here.
A section-by-section of the bill can be found here.