Senator Murray Announces Millions in Emergency Public Health Funds for Washington State Coronavirus Response

(Washington, D.C.) – Following Congress’ efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic, today U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, announced nearly $4.75 million in flexible public health relief funds for Washington state from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The funding can be used by the Washington state Department of Health to address a variety of coronavirus response needs, including procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), surge staffing at hospitals, and testing.

“From the beginning of this crisis I’ve been pushing to make sure Washington state gets the funding and supplies our health care workers need to safely treat those who are sick and slow the spread of the coronavirus,” Senator Murray said. “I’m glad to see more funding come to our state to purchase critical equipment for our frontline responders and more, and I’ll continue working to secure the resources our communities need to address this pandemic.”

This funding comes from the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Actwhich the President signed into law on March 6th and set-aside $950 million for CDC to distribute to states, localities, territories, tribes and tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health service providers to tribes, to carry out surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity, infection control, mitigation, communications, and other preparedness and response activities.This new $4.75 million in funding for Washington state is distributed through the CDC Crisis Response Cooperative Agreement, a funding mechanism that was created in 2017 to allow CDC to quickly award funds to state, local, tribal, and territorial public health agencies to enable them to rapidly mobilize, surge, and respond to a public health emergency. 

From the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Murray has been focused on ensuring federal response efforts prioritize support for health care workers and other people on the front lines working to slow the spread of the virus, as well as workers, families, small businesses and others directly impacted by the response. In the most recent coronavirus relief package, she successfully worked to secure $100 billion in surge funding for hospitals and medical equipment purchases, $1.5 billion to support state, local, territorial and tribal public health agencies, and $16 billion for PPE and other equipment purchases. In addition to procuring funding, Senator Murray has pushed to get it to those on the front lines in Washington state and across the country as quickly as possible and is working to secure additional funding to continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.