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Politics slows movement of US coronavirus funds to native public well being

Because the novel coronavirus started to unfold by means of Minneapolis this spring, Well being Commissioner Gretchen Musicant tore up her finances to search out funds to fight the disaster.

Minneapolis Well being Commissioner Gretchen Musicant poses for a portrait whereas visiting a COVID-19 testing occasion at Incarnation-Sagrado Corazon Church, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP)

Because the novel coronavirus started to unfold by means of Minneapolis this spring, Well being Commissioner Gretchen Musicant tore up her finances to search out funds to fight the disaster. Cash for take a look at kits. Cash to manage assessments. Cash to rent contact tracers. And but much more cash for a service that helps tracers talk with residents in dozens of languages.

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Whereas Musicant diverted staff from violence prevention and different core applications to the COVID-19 response, state officers debated tips on how to distribute $1.87 billion Minnesota acquired in federal support.

As she waited, the Minnesota Zoo acquired $6 million in federal cash to proceed operations, and a debt assortment firm outdoors Minneapolis acquired at the least $5 million from the federal Paycheck Safety Program, in accordance with federal knowledge.

It was not till Aug. 5 – months after Congress accepted support for the pandemic – that Musicant’s division lastly acquired $1.7 million, the equal of $4 per Minneapolis resident.

“It is extra a hope and a prayer that we’ll find the money for,” Musicant mentioned.

For the reason that pandemic started, Congress has put aside trillions of {dollars} to ease the disaster. A joint Kaiser Well being Information and Related Press investigation finds that many communities with large outbreaks have spent little of that federal cash on native public well being departments for work similar to testing and phone tracing. Others, like in Minnesota, have been sluggish to take action.

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For instance, the states, territories and 154 massive cities and counties that acquired allotments from the $150 billion Coronavirus Aid Fund reported spending solely 25% of it by means of June 30, in accordance with reviews that recipients submitted to the U.S. Treasury Division.

Many localities have deployed more cash since that June 30 reporting deadline, and each Republican and Democratic governors say they want extra to keep away from layoffs and cuts to very important state companies. Nonetheless, as circumstances within the U.S. prime 5.4 million and confirmed deaths soar previous 170,000, Republicans in Congress are pointing to the sluggish spending to argue in opposition to sending more cash to state and native governments to assist with their pandemic response.

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“States and localities have solely spent a few fourth of the cash we already despatched them within the springtime,” Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell mentioned Tuesday. Congressional Democrats’ efforts to get more cash for states, he mentioned, “aren’t primarily based on math. They are not primarily based on the pandemic.”

Shreya Sharma

Hey this is Shreya From ShoppersVila News. I'm a content creator belongs from Ranchi, India. For more info contact me [email protected]

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