This week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., brought back the “Set Testing and Objectives Plan (STOP) COVID-19 Act” which he first introduced in the middle of December.
According to the senator’s office, Scott’s bill would “create a program for cities and counties to increase testing, contact tracing and transparency efforts in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.” The proposal would have cities and counties create a “voluntary, data-driven COVID testing and contact tracing program” which would measure positive rates and test results, relying for two months from money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund which would then continue at a reduced rate.
Scott, who worked in the health care industry before entering public service in 2010 when he was elected governor, weighed in on the bill as he continued to push it this week.
“We’ve made incredible progress on developing the vaccine and getting doses to states, but there is still a lot more work to do when it comes to ending the virus,” Scot said. “All levels of government must work together to quickly distribute the vaccine so every American who wants one can easily get one. We also need to implement transparent, efficient and measurable ways to contain the spread.
“The STOP COVID-19 Act sets vaccine distribution reporting and transparency standards for states and creates a program for cities and counties, using metrics-based incentives, to ensure communities are doing everything possible to keep residents safe. We must keep working to end the coronavirus and give Americans as much information as possible, so we can get back to our new normal,” Scott added.
Scott’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. So far, Scott has not reeled in any cosponsors and there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.
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