The American Public Health Association (APHA) has sent a letter to the Senate urging the body to pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, saying the bill “will provide a more robust federal response to the pandemic including urgent resources to our nation’s public health system and critical support for the millions of Americans whose health and economic well-being have been harmed by this ongoing public health emergency.”
The APHA goes on to write: “The legislation provides essential funding for strengthening the public health workforce, including more than $7.6 billion to hire contact tracers, public health nurses, epidemiologists, community health workers and other essential workers to help assist in the efforts to address COVID-19. The legislation would also provide significant funding to bolster the nation’s vaccine distribution and administration efforts, including $7.5 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, monitor and track COVID–19 vaccines, including providing support for state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments. The bill would also provide more than $50 billion for testing, contact tracing and mitigation efforts, public health data surveillance and analytics infrastructure modernization initiatives, global health activities and genomic sequencing and disease surveillance activities.”
The letter follows numerous polls showing bipartisan support for the plan, including a recent Navigator poll that shows 76% of Americans – and 60% of Republicans support the American Rescue Plan. This latest endorsement also follows the support of more than 400 more bipartisan mayors across the nation.
Beside the critical public health measures, the American Rescue Plan also has the support of a long list of economists and economic organizations for its economic provisions that would provide immediate relief – including Brookings, Moody’s Analytics, and the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund. A Reuters survey of dozens of economists found that over 90% believed that it would “boost the economy significantly.” The American Rescue Plan has received praise from across the political spectrum – from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable to Senator Sanders and organized labor. And, top economic advisors from the last four presidents: Kevin Hassett, Gene Sperling, R. Glenn Hubbard, and Alan Blinder have all said that additional stimulus is needed to rescue the economy.