Better Tracing Money for Contracts and Contact Tracing

Rolling Analysis, Covid 19 Better Tracing Money for Contracts and Contact Tracing

Budget & Tax,  | Analysis
Dec 28, 2020  | 2 min read | Print Article

The COVID-19 relief package signed by the president provides $73 billion, and many directions, to the Department of Health and Human Services. This pot of funds covers COVID-19 activities for the Center for Disease Control, National Institute for Health, and perhaps most importantly, development and distribution of vaccines and medical supplies.  

The bulk of these funds, at nearly $50 billion, are made available to the “Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund.” This is a substantial bump up from the $27 billion provided in the CARES Act last MarchSimilar to the CARES Actfunds are directed at both the Strategic National Stockpilewhich supplements state and local purchases of medical supplies, like ventilators and N-95 masksand at efforts to develop and distribute vaccines. In addition, the bill directs $22.4 billion specifically for state, local, and tribal efforts at contact tracing, testing, and monitoring of COVID-19. Funds from the CARES act could be used for these activities, if not tied to other specific programs, but now Congress is specifically directing these funds. 

With the increased investment in vaccine purchase and distribution comes increased reporting requirements. The bill requires HHS begin a monthly report on Operation Warp Speed detailing all contracts, grants, or other transactions over $20 million. They have 30 days to produce the first report (January 27, 2021). 

Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund  December COVID bill ($ millions) 


CARES Act ($ millions) 


Strategic National Stockpile  3,250  16,000 
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority – Manufacturing and purchase of vaccines and treatments  19,695  3,500 
Contact tracing, testing, mitigation, and monitoring  22,400  Not specified 
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