The $2.25 billion distributed to the states and 58 large city and county health departments by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May of 2021 was intended for use in addressing COVID-related disparities and helping underserved communities that had been hit hard by the pandemic.
But a year later relatively little of that money has been spent.
State and local officials cite lack of staff, slow local appropriations processes, lack of ties to community-based non-profits, and inadequate public health infrastructure among the reasons for their failure to spend more of the money.
As a result, Missouri has not spent any of its allocation; Idaho, Illinois, and Wisconsin less than five percent; Pennsylvania six percent; and California 10 percent.
Learn more about what this distribution of COVID money was intended to do and the obstacles that have hindered progress toward achieving those goals in the Kaiser Health News article “States Have Yet to Spend Hundreds of Millions of Federal Dollars to Tackle Covid Health Disparities.”