Press Release

Big Cities Health Coalition Applauds U.S. House Action to Fund COVID-19 Response

March 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2020               

The following is a statement from Chrissie Juliano, executive director, Big Cities Health Coalition:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On behalf of our members — the local health officials from 30 of the largest, most urban health departments in the country — I thank the U.S. House of Representatives for taking action to support the on-the-ground response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Over the last six weeks, our members have responded by taking full-throated, decisive action for which they have planned and trained to keep their communities as healthy and safe as possible. 

Public health departments at all levels of government are used to doing more with less. But when emergencies strike, they respond with the expectation that the federal government will support that response with dollars, assets, and critical information. I am happy to say that today, thanks to the House, emergency dollars will soon flow to those most in need.

The $8.3 billion package does not just support a whole-of-government federal response, but also backfills federal, state, and local dollars reprogrammed for the response, including reimbursement of activities retroactive to January 20 of this year. 

Importantly, the package provides $950 million in funding to state, local, and tribal jurisdictions, to “carry out surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity, infection control, mitigation, communications, and other preparedness and response activities.” It also instructs half of those dollars to be sent out within 30 days of passage.

This is a critical set of resources needed at what may be an inflection point in responding to and mitigating the impact of COVID-19.

CONTACT: Chrissie Julianojuliano@bigcitieshealth.orgor 202-557-6507

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About the Big Cities Health Coalition

The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact nearly 62 million people, or one in five Americans. For more information, visit https://www.bigcitieshealth.org.