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American Samoa receives $411,385 for health priorities

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Sources: Media release from Cong. Aumua Amata's office

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Aumua Amata on Friday welcomed $411,385 in CARES Act funds for American Samoa’s health priorities through the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department.

These CARES Act resources are for the Territory to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on improving mortality, expanding testing, better tracking of any cases, managing any high-risk areas or populations, monitoring health system capacity, and containment.

This is the third CARES Act grant specifically from CDC for a total of nearly $1.5 million in CDC funds. Under the CARES Act, CDC is awarding resources this week to 64 jurisdictions, including American Samoa, via the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) cooperative agreement.

“The CARES Act has made possible a massive effort to ramp up preparations, and we’re better off for these efforts,” said Aumua Amata. “I want to thank HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, and a special thank you to our own health care professionals implementing all these steps in American Samoa.”

HHS Secretary Azar said, “The professionals who staff America’s state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments have played a vital role in protecting Americans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, by reporting and analyzing surveillance data, tracing the spread of the virus, and developing scientific guidelines appropriate for local communities. As we look toward re-opening the economy, the work of these dedicated public health officials is only going to get more important, and the Trump Administration and CDC will be working right alongside them to assist.”

CDC Director Dr. Redfield said, “The ability to implement aggressive contact tracing, surveillance and testing will be fundamental to protecting vulnerable populations as the nation takes steps to reopen and Americans begin returning to their daily lives.”