ASTHO Applauds Congress and the Administration on the Passage of the American Rescue Plan of 2021
March 11, 2021
ARLINGTON, VA—Michael Fraser, chief executive officer of ASTHO, issued the following statement about the American Rescue Plan of 2021.
“We applaud the Biden Administration and Congress for their work to provide additional emergency supplemental funding for the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, ASTHO is appreciative of language to provide $7.5 billion for vaccine-related activities; $47.8 billion for testing, tracing, and mitigation; $7.66 billion to bolster the public health workforce; $1 billion to strengthen confidence in COVID-19 vaccines; $500 million for public health data surveillance and data modernization; and over $3.8 billion for mental health and substance use disorder activities. Additionally, an extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, Medicaid flexibilities for states and territories, and direct aid to state and local governments are necessary and critical investments to support the response. Providing these resources to states and territories will be vital in advancing efforts to meet their goals of this historic vaccination campaign.
We look forward to working with Congress, the Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services to provide the necessary flexibility to ensure that these critical resources are expended in a manner that meets the intent of Congress and the priority of our members to advance the public health and well-being of individuals across the country.”
ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and Freely Associated States, and Washington, D.C., as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.