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ADA, coalition urges Congress for $4.5 billion investment in public health infrastructure

July 13, 2020

By Kimber Solana

The Association joined a coalition of more than 250 organizations in urging Congress to include a significant, long-term investment in the public health infrastructure as it considers new legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
   
The group recommends $4.5 billion in additional annual funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with state, local, tribal and territorial core public health infrastructure, according to its July 2 letter addressed to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy R-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
   
“This investment is critical to support the public health system as it rebuilds from the COVID-19 response, but also to strengthen it before the next pandemic hits and avoid the loss of life and social and economic disruption we are facing today,” the coalition said.
   
The additional funds, according to the group, would pay for essential activities, including disease surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity, all-hazards preparedness and response, policy development and support, communications, community partnership development and organizational competencies.
   
“The U.S. has followed a pattern of underfunding of vital public health services, followed by a crisis, a quick infusion of cash, and then dwindling investments over time,” the coalition said in its letter. “This pattern is placing American lives at risk. We must think not just of the short-term needs of this pandemic, but the long-term readiness of our nation.”