President Joe Biden will invest $400 million from his $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue bill to build a Public Health AmeriCorps, the White House announced Thursday.
“The program will focus on building a diverse pipeline for the public health workforce and providing direct service to communities across the country,” a release from the White House explained.
The new program will be operated by the Centers for Disease Control and the existing AmeriCorps agency as part of Biden’s overall $7 billion spending program to create “tens of thousands” public health worker positions.
Biden plans to expand the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service with $245 million in funds from his coronavirus rescue bill.
The CDC will also offer grants to hire more state and local health departments to hire additional officials and millions for school districts to hire more nurses.
Other spending items in the bill include funding for public health laboratory workers and education programs as well as improved laboratory buildings.
During his presidential campaign, Biden expressed his desire to build a Public Health Jobs Corp — vowing to create at least 100,000 new public health worker positions to support contract-tracing of the coronavirus.
“You know, experts agree that we need more contact tracers to track the path of this virus,” Biden said at a campaign event in June 2020, adding that despite state efforts, “[W]e need to do more including hiring 100,000 federally-funded workers perform contact tracing and other public health tasks and they should begin to be trained now.”