National Strategy for COVID-19 Response & Pandemic Preparedness

The National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness provides detailed information about the seven goals of the Biden Administration’s coordinated pandemic response. Among the topics covered are home and community based services, vaccination communication, impact on at-risk groups, equitable access to PPE, and community-based, multi-sector efforts to align health and social interventions. The national strategy reflects the White House’s key priorities in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below is an excerpt of Goal Six, to protect those most at risk and advance equity, including across racial, ethnic and rural/ urban lines. For more information, please see the full The National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness document.

Key Actions

  • Establish the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force
  • Increase data collection and reporting for high risk groups
  • Ensure equitable access to critical COVID-19 PPE, tests, therapies, and vaccines
  • Expand access to high quality health care
  • Expand the clinical and public health workforce, including community-based workers
  • Strengthen the social service safety net to address unmet basic needs
  • Support communities most at-risk for COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated severe and pervasive health inequities among communities defined by race, ethnicity, geography, disability, sexual orientation/gender identity and other factors. Addressing this pandemic’s devastating toll is both a moral imperative and pragmatic policy.

In order to prevent COVID-19 illness and death in individuals and communities at greatest risk and advance equity in the federal COVID-19 response, the United States will:

Establish the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. The President issued Executive Order Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery which establishes a high-level task force to address COVID-19 related health and social inequities and help coordinate an equitable pandemic response and recovery. The Task Force will convene national experts on health equity and provide specific recommendations to mitigate COVID-19 health inequities.

The Administration is committed to supporting populations that are most vulnerable to COVID-19. Whether residing in congregate settings, serving as essential workers, having disabilities or bearing the burden of chronic medical conditions, these most vulnerable populations are disproportionately made up of people of color. The Federal Government will take steps to ensure these populations have access to adequate PPE and the resources to implement appropriate testing and vaccination strategies. The CDC will develop and update clear public health guidance for such high-risk institutions and settings to further minimize the risk of COVID infection. Additionally, the following policy (among others) will be implemented to address particular high-risk communities:

  • Strengthen support for home and community based services. The President has proposed significant investments in home and community based services as part of his plan to Build Back Better. HHS, including CMS and the Administration for Community Living, will be asked to identify opportunities and funding mechanisms to provide greater support for individuals receiving home and community based services, with particular attention to people with disabilities and the home care workforce crisis.

This is an excerpt of The National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness from Goal Six, on pages 96 – 105.

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