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Hispanic Caucus Endorses Mucarsel-Powell Bill To Fund Mobile COVID Testing For High Risk Communities

Date: Sept. 28, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), member of the Congressional Coronavirus Task Force and former Associate Dean of the Florida International University's College of Medicine, announced that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is endorsing her bill, the Mobile Options for Testing In Our Neighborhoods (MOTION) Act. This critical legislation, which is co-led by House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-06), Chair of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, would authorize $400 million to bring coronavirus testing to communities that are medically underserved or lack the transportation services needed to access traditional testing sites.

"Representing a majority-minority district, I've seen firsthand how this virus is disproportionately hurting Hispanic and African American communities. As we work to combat this virus, we must meet those most at-risk families where they are, which is why I introduced this bill to expand testing to hard-to-reach communities and contain the spread of this virus," said Mucarsel-Powell. "I'm grateful for the endorsement of my colleagues on the Hispanic Caucus and am hopeful that they will help get this critical bill passed and signed into law to start bringing immediate help to high-risk communities."

"Widespread testing is essential in addressing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Any comprehensive response to this pandemic should include Mucarsel-Powell's legislation to bring testing to underserved communities that have been hit the hardest by this virus," said Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. "I will continue working with the entire Democratic Caucus to push this legislation through the U.S. House of Representatives and send mobile testing units to communities that need them most."

The MOTION Act prioritizes communities that remain inaccessible to traditional testing locations, such as those in rural areas and communities which may face transportation barriers. This legislation would provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with essential funding to partner with local organizations, including community health centers, to provide the resources needed to conduct mobile testing.

The Mobile Options for Testing In Our Neighborhoods (MOTION) Act will:

Authorize $400 million to the CDC for FY20;
Distribute grants to local health departments, community health centers, university medical systems, or non-profits to conduct mobile testing;
Prioritize entities in medically underserved or transportation-disadvantaged areas;
Conduct mobile testing;
Distribute eventual FDA-approved vaccines and therapeutics.