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Community News

The American Rescue Plan Prioritizing Public Health with Investment of Millions

A student in PPE gear

In a press briefing on May 13, 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration announced plans to invest $7.4 billion from the American Rescue Plan to recruit, hire, and train public health workers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The intention is to prepare the nation for future outbreaks and to support local public health officials.

Public health workers have been essential in keeping people safe throughout the pandemic, and this announcement demonstrates the recognition and continuation of public health services as a priority for the federal government. According to the briefing, this investment will create “tens of thousands of jobs to support vaccinations, testing, contact tracing, and community outreach, and strengthen America’s future public health infrastructure.”

The breakdown of the funding comprises $4.4 billion toward the public health departments of states and localities, as well as supporting “the next generation of public health leaders” through a Public Health AmeriCorps and the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. The remaining $3 billion will fund a new grant program, which the CDC will use to modernize the public health workforce.

The opportunities in the field of public health are abundant and about to become even greater with the expansion and initiation of new programs. This federal investment is just the latest in a lasting appreciation for the critical services of public health workers.

Read the full White House briefing here.