Rush Introduces Bold Plan To Expand Access for Testing and Contact Tracing

Feb 3, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) announced that he has introduced H.R. 726, the COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act.  This legislation would direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish a grant program to create a robust testing and contact tracing infrastructure.  Eligible entities for these grants would include Community Health Centers, academic medical centers, School Based Health Centers, non-profits, and other organizations.

“The recent emergency use authorizations for highly effective vaccines have given us all hope that we are finally moving closer to controlling this pandemic.  However, to truly defeat this deadly disease, we must use every resource at our disposal, including the community partners who are trusted voices in our neighborhoods,” said Rush.  “As medically underserved areas continue to be disproportionately harmed by COVID-19, it remains vital that there is equitable access to testing and contact tracing workforces made up of members of their respective communities.

“Rigorous, voluntary testing and contact tracing, along with a strong vaccine distribution program, represent the formula for vanquishing this deadly disease, safely reopening our economy, and returning to normal.  By establishing a $100 billion grant program for testing, contact tracing, and community outreach, we can provide everyone — especially those in the most vulnerable areas — with the time-tested and lifesaving tools they need to combat this pandemic.  Until a critical mass of the population can receive a vaccine for COVID-19, we must act swiftly to expand access to contact tracing and testing.”

Funding from the TRACE Act could be used to operate mobile testing units and conduct door-to-door contact tracing in medically underserved areas.  The TRACE Act has been endorsed by the American Diabetes Association and has 34 original cosponsors.