In a letter to the White House and Congress, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and partners today requested supplemental appropriations to expand and strengthen public health capacity and coordination in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“While it is too early to reliably predict the additional
cost burden and supplemental needs of the COVID-19 response … we anticipate
that an initial supplemental is warranted to respond to public health agencies’
critical need to rapidly detect changes and control the outbreak,” the
The groups outline several urgent priorities, including
funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support
preparedness and response activities; an appropriation for the relevant offices
and programs under the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund; and
authority to reimburse uncompensated care for state and local costs, including
obtaining and maintaining quarantine and isolation housing capacity and
providing wraparound services.
“We are in the midst of a developing public health
emergency,” said Scott Becker, CEO of APHL. “Our request identifies initial
needs to bolster our response, but it is likely only the start. Public health
laboratories and other critical agencies will need sustained funding to address
this growing challenge and other public health threats.”
The letter was signed by APHL, the Association of State and
Territorial Health Officials, the National Association of County and City
Health Officials and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.