March 17, 2020 / Kevin B. O’Reilly, News Editor, AMA
What’s the news: Congress must ensure that its next COVID-19 economic stimulus package includes $1 billion to ensure that “hospitals, health systems, physicians and nurses are viable and directly supported for preparedness and response.”
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the AMA, American Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) wrote that the emergency funds should come “during this critical window of time when we are able to best prepare and respond to this outbreak.
Why it’s important: The COVID-19 pandemic has already killed more than 5,000 people around the world and there are cases in every U.S. state, with outbreaks in California, New York, Florida and elsewhere. Despite widespread social distancing measures taken to cut the spread of the infectious respiratory illness, COVID-19 is already stressing the U.S. health system and that strain will only grow more severe.