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Politics slows flow of US virus funds to local public health

Posted at 4:30 AM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 07:53:34-04

Congress has allocated trillions of dollars to ease the coronavirus crisis.

A joint Kaiser Health News and AP investigation finds that many communities with big outbreaks have spent little of that federal money on local public health departments for work such as testing and contact tracing.

Others, like Minnesota, were slow to do so. So little money has flowed to some local health departments for many reasons: Bureaucracy has bogged things down, politics have crept into the process, and understaffed departments have struggled to take time away from critical needs to navigate the red tape required to justify asking for extra dollars.