Last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., showcased the “Set Testing and Objectives Plan (STOP) COVID-19 Act” which he 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 last week.
“The distribution of the coronavirus vaccine is great news, but we still haven’t beaten the coronavirus and we can’t let our guard down,” Scott said. “As infections continue across the nation, all levels of government must work together on transparent, efficient and measurable ways to contain the spread.
“The STOP COVID-19 Act creates a program for cities and counties, using metrics-based incentives, to ensure communities are doing everything possible to keep residents safe. The program will be data-focused, so communities know what they are doing well and what they need to work on. 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.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.