Washington, D.C. - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), along with Representatives Richard E. Neal (D-MA-01), James P. McGovern (D-MA-02), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA-08), William Keating (D-MA-09), Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA-04), Katherine Clark (D-MA-05), Seth Moulton (D-MA-06), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07) and Lori Trahan (D-MA-04), announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Massachusetts community health centers a total of $15,909,257 in new federal grants through the Expanding Capacity for Testing Program that was authorized by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The 38 health centers receiving grants include:
"If we're serious about stopping this pandemic and getting our economy back up and running, then we must do everything we can to boost our testing capacity, especially in communities hardest hit by this pandemic," said Senator Warren. "I'm glad that our community health centers--which often serve our most vulnerable populations--received this critical funding, and I'll keep fighting with my delegation partners to ensure they have the resources they need to continue testing and caring for Massachusetts residents during this crisis."
"Supporting our community health centers will be key if we want to direct resources toward Massachuestts communities that have been hardest hit by this pandemic," said Senator Markey. "We will only get through this crisis and re-open our economy with more testing. This funding will provide resources to get more people tested, and ensure we can then provide the treatment they need. I will continue to work with the delegation and our state and local partners to ensure we support this important thread in the fabric of our social safety net."
"Health centers continue to play a pivotal role in combating this coronavirus pandemic," said Congressman Richard E. Neal. "With more access to testing, community health centers will be able to expand their work for the health and well-being of all they serve."
"As Massachusetts continues to expand our testing and contact tracing capabilities, it is critical that we provide our community health centers with the money they need to protect public health, said Congressman McGovern. "We cannot have a healthy economy without healthy workers and families. I'm glad we were able to overcome Republican opposition and get this important funding included in the CARES Act. The testing and tracing going on at our community health centers is absolutely critical and we must continue to support and empower them however we can."
"Programs such as the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, South Boston Community Health Center and Manet Health Center in Quincy provide care and support to the most vulnerable in our society," said Rep. Lynch. "I am very pleased to see community health centers receive this critical funding to help expand their coronavirus testing abilities and ensure everyone has access to the proper healthcare and resources throughout this pandemic."
"Families across Southeastern Massachusetts depend on community health centers for their health care needs - and these centers have been on the frontline during the COVID-19 crisis," said Congressman Bill Keating. "The $2.4 million in federal funds that our community health centers serving the 9th Congressional District will be receiving will go directly to purchase, administer, and expand capacity for COVID-19. Thank you to Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, Duffy Health Center, Outer Cape Health Services, Harbor Health Services, Community Health Center of Cape Cod, Island Health, and Healthfirst Family Care Center for all you do every day to keep our communities healthy."
"Our testing capacity will guide us as we begin to reopen and rebuild our economy," said Congressman Joe Kennedy III. "As community health centers stand on the frontlines of those efforts, this funding will help them protect their patients and our neighborhoods."
"The science couldn't be clearer: We can't safely reopen our economy and return to normal without extensive coronavirus testing, tracing and treatment in every community," said Congresswoman Clark. "This urgently needed federal funding for health centers in our state will ensure that Massachusetts families get the care they need to stop the spread and start us on a path toward recovery."
"The Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, Lynn Community Health, and all health centers across the state are leading the fight against the coronavirus, and we've got to do all we can to support them," Rep. Seth Moulton said. "They're operating at a loss right now to care for the sick, and Congress must step up. I hope this is just the start of what we are able to deliver."
"Our community health centers are on the frontlines of this pandemic, caring for some of our most vulnerable communities in the 7th district and across the country," said Congresswoman Pressley. "Because our CHCs are already doing the work in community, they're uniquely suited to provide testing to low-income communities and communities of color, who are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This funding will help ensure that our testing resources are being allocated to the hardest hit neighborhoods so that we can fully understand the scale of this crisis and ultimately save lives."
"Health care heroes across the state, especially in Lawrence, Lowell, and Fitchburg, have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve their communities. This funding shows them that we have their backs as we ask them to ramp up their efforts to expand access to testing in the coming weeks," said Congresswoman Lori Trahan.
Senator Warren has pressed the Trump Administration to respond effectively to deliver the robust set of resources needed to address this public health emergency. She has unveiled detailed plans to increase diagnostic testing nationwide and has consistently sounded the alarm over the Trump Administration's failure to deliver federal support for testing and care in Massachusetts.
At a HELP Committee hearing on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, confirmed to Senator Warren that the U.S. does not have COVID-19 completely under control and that without adequate countermeasures to the virus-including widespread diagnostic testing-there will be problems. Last week, Senator Warren highlighted the need to force President Trump to use the Defense Production Act and publicly manufacture medical supplies at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on COVID-19 testing.