Velazquez Unveils Bill to Aid Vulnerable Populations in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Washington, DC – To open the first legislative week of the 117th Congress, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has unveiled the COVID-19 Prevention and Awareness Act (CPAA), a bill that would allocate $2.12 billion in funding for grants to help community health centers prevent and address the pandemic for New Yorkers who have underlying health conditions, and are therefore more susceptible to the coronavirus.
“COVID-19 has torn through our communities, leaving its greatest devastation in underserved communities of color in New York City and our nation,” said Velázquez. “That is why my first bill of 2021 is focused on tackling the health disparities that plague our society and have left underserved communities more likely to be battling or at-risk for diseases such as cancer, asthma, and heart disease, that increase the seriousness and fatality rate from a COVID-19 infection. This pandemic has laid bare the systemic health inequalities that exist in America, and that is why I am proposing $2.12 billion in grant funding to help qualifying community health centers increase prevention and awareness efforts to crush the coronavirus, especially in our hardest-hit neighborhoods.”
This bill would help community-based non-profits as well as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s) augment their efforts in treating medically vulnerable individuals during the coronavirus pandemic. The funding would go towards providing key diagnostic tests and screenings for conditions that can leave patients extremely vulnerable to illness or death if they contract coronavirus, as well comprehensive information regarding COVID-19 vaccines, and other COVID-19 public health awareness campaigns.
The bill has been endorsed by: Global Liver Institute; American Lung Association; NYU Langone Health; Association of Black Cardiologists; Digestive Disease National Coalition; American Liver Foundation; National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable; Hepatitis B Foundation; Hep B United coalition; Community Liver Alliance; and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
A pdf of the bill is available online here