HOT TAKE Coronavirus contact tracing could stop COVID-19 and reopen America. We have a plan for that.
As states across America try to reopen cities and towns, some people are acting like we have two mutually exclusive options: protect our public health or get our economy up and running. They could not be more wrong. Workers, consumers and businesses need to feel safe in their communities before we can get back to normal. In other words, we can’t rebuild our economy without stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Even as we rush to develop a vaccine — which could take months, if not years — contact tracing can help halt the spread of the virus now. With this in mind, we have put forward a proposal for a federal contact tracing program that we want included in the next relief package that passes Congress. The House Democrats’ proposal already includes pieces of it, including $500 million to hire a diverse group of culturally competent contact tracers. But we need to stand up our whole plan for a national contact tracing strategy.
Today, we will be introducing legislation to do just that. Our bill will massively expand our health care workforce, make sure states and localities have the support they need, and provide robust privacy protections to ensure Americans’ personal data and health information are protected.