Rick Pollack, President and CEO, American Hospital Association, January 14, 2021:
America's hospitals and health systems, and our heroic front-line caregivers, applaud President-elect Biden's focus and broad approach in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. We both share this as among the highest priorities for the nation. We continue to call for increased federal leadership, support and resources to combat this virus that has devastated countless families and communities and this plan makes important strides in these directions.
In particular, we are pleased that it includes much-needed additional funding to significantly scale up vaccine distribution and administration. Hospitals and health systems are working tirelessly to administer vaccines as quickly and safely as possible, but to get to the scale our country needs for herd immunity, we need additional assets and other stakeholders to join us. This plan will help put more boots on the ground for contact tracing and getting more shots into arms.
Additionally, we are encouraged that this plan puts forth additional substantial funding for COVID-19 testing and surveillance, investments in PPE supply so we can continue to protect our workforce, and therapeutics to treat COVID-19 patients. The plan also helps expand coverage options for the uninsured and addresses disparities in care, which are vital issues the AHA has advocated for.
While we thank President-elect Biden for many of the policies in this plan, we continue to believe that more must be done to aid our response to the pandemic, including more support for hospitals and health systems through the Provider Relief Fund.
The AHA looks forward to working with President-elect Biden and his Administration in addressing all aspects of this pandemic so we can return to normal life as soon as possible.