Biden Plan Would Direct $400 Billion to Vaccine, Public Health Initiatives

President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic during an event at The Queen theater, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Wilmington, Del., as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris listens.

President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic during an event at The Queen theater, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Wilmington, Del., as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris listens. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

The president-elect’s $1.9 trillion plan includes funding for a national Covid-19 vaccination program, expanded testing capacity, and safety measures to help reopen schools.

President-elect Joe Biden’s rescue package to respond to the coronavirus pandemic will direct roughly $400 billion into public health initiatives meant to ramp up vaccinations and help reduce the spread of the virus.

The Biden transition team released details Thursday of the roughly $1.9 trillion plan, which will be the first major legislative push the president-elect undertakes after he is sworn into office next week.

The plan includes $20 billion for a national vaccine program that will work with state, local and tribal governments to stand up community vaccination centers and deploy mobile vaccine services to remote regions of the country. Expanded testing capacity is key to the administration’s goal to safely reopening schools for in-person learning, and the plan will allocate $50 billion to expand testing lab capacity, purchase rapid tests, and to help schools and local governments implement regular testing protocols.

“Expanded testing will ensure that schools can implement regular testing to support safe reopening; that vulnerable settings like prisons and long-term care facilities can regularly test their populations; and that any American can get a test for free when they need one,” a description of Biden’s plan says.

Additionally, the proposal would provide $130 billion to assist schools in reopening or facilitating remote learning. Schools could use the money for numerous different types of improvements, such as reducing class size or modifying classrooms to accommodate social distancing protocols, improving ventilation systems, or purchasing personal protective equipment. The Biden plan fact sheet also indicated that the funding could be used to prevent cuts to state pre-K programs.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is poised to become the Senate’s majority leader, issued a joint statement Thursday night praising the plan. 

“We will get right to work to turn President-elect Biden’s vision into legislation that will pass both chambers and be signed into law,” Pelosi and Schumer said. 

The Biden plan also includes funding to hire 100,000 public health workers, who would initially work on vaccine outreach or contact tracing in local communities. But the plan envisions those workers could later transition into other community health roles.

Local public health leaders have cautioned that a job corps plan too heavily focused on contact tracing would miss the current on-the-ground needs of public health agencies.

To help discourage employees from coming to work when they are sick and to help prevent the spread of the virus, the Biden administration would also look to fund the expansion of paid sick leave. The administration will ask Congress to reinstate provisions of earlier relief legislation that would require employers to offer 14 weeks of emergency paid sick leave through September. The administration would also seek to eliminate exemptions for employers with more than 500 employees or less than 50 employees. By closing that loophole, Biden’s team estimates up to 106 million more American workers would have access to paid sick leave.

State and local governments would be reimbursed for the cost of the expanded leave that is outlined in the proposal.

The Biden plan acknowledges that the coronavirus pandemic has hit certain groups harder than others, including communities of color and residents and workers at long-term care facilities. As such, the plan serves to address disparities by ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines and supplies to underserved communities. The plan would provide funding to expand community health centers in underserved areas and also provide states funding to deploy strike teams to long-term care facilities to help with Covid-19 response.

Andrea Noble is a staff correspondent with Route Fifty.

NEXT STORY: Biden Calls for $350 Billion in State and Local Aid as Part of Massive Stimulus

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.