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CDC Allocates $5.8 million to Puerto Rico in Support of COVID-19 Response

By on March 11, 2020

SAN JUAN — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be awarding nearly $5.9 million to Puerto Rico, to help the commonwealth government address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“In Congress, we have been working to help the federal government have the tools necessary to manage the spread of the coronavirus. In each of my speeches, including with Vice President Pence himself, I have advocated that these tools be extended to Puerto Rico, financial resources such as those announced today, as well as that screening tests be delivered to the island to carry out the work in an expedited way,” Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón said in a media release.

HHS announced the action Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide resources in support of the response to the pandemic. The CDC said it is contacting State Health Officers to move forward with awarding more than $560 million to “states, localities, territories, and tribes.”

“State and local health departments are on the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, and we are deeply grateful for their work. CDC is distributing this new funding extremely rapidly, as called for by Congress. President Trump and his entire administration will continue working to ensure state and local jurisdictions have the resources they need to keep Americans safe and healthy,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a separate release.

“Our state, local, tribal and territorial public health partners are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. The action we are taking today will continue to support their efforts to increase public health capacity where it’s needed most,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “These funds will allow public health leaders to implement critical steps necessary to contain and mitigate spread of the virus in communities across the country.”

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, was enacted Friday, March 6. The supplemental contains $8.3 billion, with resources directed for grants or cooperative agreements “to states, localities, territories and tribes to accelerate planning and operational readiness for COVID-19 preparedness and response, as well as develop tools and strategies, provide technical assistance and program support, as well as ensure ongoing communication and coordination among public health agencies and partners throughout the response,” according to HHS.

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