President Donald Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act on April 24, an “interim” step ahead of the fourth aid package that will provide $484 billion to assist with COVID-19 response efforts.
“We need this steady stream of aid from the administration to prevent further infections and deaths, support strained healthcare facilities and teams, and stabilize public health infrastructures and efforts,” said ANA President Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN.
In addition to replenishing the small business program, this measure directs $310 billion to additional lending authority for PPE, $75 billion to hospitals, and $25 billion to testing resources at the state-level.
“Screening and testing are a top priority for nurses, and the approach outlined in this measure can enable greater testing capacity and help tackle alarming disparities in COVID-19 cases among African Americans and American Indian tribes,” said Grant. “Wider availability of testing will undoubtedly increase the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. However, the catch-22 is that our state-level public health entities will be able to better trace and identify those infected sooner. This is key to preventing further spread of COVID-19.”
ANA’s grassroots advocacy and regulatory activities continue to make a difference toward advancing the causes of nurses on Capitol Hill. And as of May 4, nearly 125,000 nurse advocates sent more than 384,000 messages through ANA’s RNAction center urging Congress to increase PPE distribution. In a letter, ANA urged President Trump to use the full authority of the Defense Production Act to mobilize production of ventilators, masks, and other emergency medical supplies.