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ATLANTA, Ga. — Georgia physicians today thanked Senator Raphael Warnock and Senator Jon Ossoff for voting in favor of the American Rescue Plan, which passed the U.S. Senate on Saturday. The relief package will provide tens of billions of dollars for COVID-19 testing, tracing, and vaccine distribution. It comes as a more contagious variant of the coronavirus is quickly spreading across the United States, including Georgia.
“The passage of the American Rescue Plan brings doctors across our state a huge sigh of relief, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Senators Warnock and Ossoff for their critical role in passing this much-needed legislation,” said Dr. Kate Miele, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Atlanta and Georgia State Lead for the Committee to Protect Medicare. “Now that we have three vaccines to guard against COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, the end of this pandemic is in sight, but we need to be able to get those shots in arms as quickly as possible. The funding the American Rescue Plan will provide for distributing the vaccine will save countless lives, and Senators Warnock and Ossoff will be to thank when we’re finally on the other side of COVID-19.”
Over $25 billion of the American Rescue Plan funds are dedicated to promoting health equity. The package also includes $8.5 billion in funds for rural healthcare provider relief, helping ensure rural Georgians can continue to access care amidst the pandemic and into the future. Two rural hospitals in Georgia closed in the fall of 2020, jeopardizing the health of residents in those areas.
“To save the most lives as we continue to deal with this pandemic, we need to focus our efforts on Georgians most vulnerable to COVID-19 and healthcare disparities, and the American Rescue Plan does just that,” said Dr. Timilehin Wusu, who practices orthopedic sports medicine in Lawrenceville. “By passing this plan, Senators Warnock and Ossoff are helping protect Black and brown Georgians, who are disproportionately harmed by the disease and haven’t been vaccinated at the rate of white Georgians. They are also protecting rural Georgians by ensuring they can continue to get healthcare quickly and closer to home when they need it, which is imperative as we keep working to stamp out this deadly disease.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, Mar. 8, 2021
NOTE: The physicians above are speaking in their capacity as members of the Committee to Protect Medicare. They should be identified only as indicated in this news release.