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ATLANTA, Jan. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) has issued the following statement regarding President-Elect Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan:

"CSTE applauds President-Elect Biden for committing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic immediately within the first 100 days of his presidency. The American Rescue Plan announced yesterday contains many essential investments to boost our nation's pandemic response, including $20 billion for a national vaccination plan; $50 billion for diagnostic tests and screening; and critically, a strong commitment to expand the public health workforce. In particular, CSTE praises, and fully supports, the incoming administration's request for $700 million to address data modernizations needs at the state, local, and federal level.

As our members continue to fight COVID-19 on the front lines without access to modern, interoperable public health data systems, this call for data modernization comes at a crucial time. The lack of a strong national public health surveillance system that detects and facilitates immediate response to and containment of emerging health threats has slowed the response to COVID-19 and endangered our communities. The Centers for Disease Control's Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) has already started the crucial work to overhaul our national data systems, but additional resources are needed now and annually to upgrade public health data infrastructure and speed our public health response.

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COVID-19 has exposed deadly gaps in our nation's public health data system. CSTE looks forward to working with the incoming Biden-Harris Administration and calls on Congress to fully fund the Biden plan to build the modern, interoperable public health data infrastructure we so desperately need."


About CSTE
Founded in 1951, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) represents the interests of State Epidemiologists from all 50 U.S. states and territories, comprising the Council. CSTE is also the professional home to nearly 2000 practicing applied epidemiologists working at the state, local, tribal and territorial levels. For more information, visit www.cste.org.

Media Contact: Jeremy Arieh, Director of Communications, 770-458-3811, email: [email protected]

SOURCE Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists

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