U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass)
On February 5, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Congressman Andy Levin (D-Mich.), member of the House Education & Labor Committee, sent a letter to Senate and House leadership to underscore the critical need to expand our public health workforce as they begin crafting legislation to execute President Biden's American Rescue Plan. The lawmakers wrote that their Coronavirus Containment Corps Act, reintroduced last week, is the best way to accomplish this urgent task and to put Americans back to work and reopen the economy safely.
The Coronavirus Containment Corps Act is in line with President Biden's call in his American Rescue Plan and his National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, to build out a diverse public health workforce and help workers transition to long-term careers after the pandemic.
The lawmakers wrote: "Providing resources, like those outlined in the Coronavirus Containment Corps Act, for our pre-existing workforce system will help build up the public health workforce needed to expand contact tracing, boost vaccine outreach, and ultimately end the COVID-19 pandemic."
The lawmakers continued: "Our bill makes clear that we need to hire Americans from the communities in which they will work and who reflect the diversity and speak the languages of those communities. This is essential to building public trust ... for contact tracing and vaccine education campaigns to succeed."
The plan mirrors President Biden's recognition of "the need to hire a workforce that reflects the communities where people will work" and the American Psychological Association (APA) call to "train a culturally competent workforce to interact with diverse communities" and "understand and address the history of mistrust among marginalized communities and populations as a vital step toward building trust."
The lawmakers concluded: "The name 'Coronavirus Containment Corps,' or CCC, echoes President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's own CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps, which put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work during the Great Depression. We know that you, as well as President Biden, share our commitment to using the same imagination that lifted our country nearly a century ago."