- President Trump Signs H.R. 266 – Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act: Friday, April 24, President Trump signed the new legislation into law to further assist American businesses, workers and healthcare providers. The legislation provides $310 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $60 billion more for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Loan Program, $75 billion in funding for hospitals and healthcare providers, and $25 billion to support our Nation’s testing efforts. Read more from the SBA here. Find more on the Paycheck Protection Program here.
- President Trump Announces Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities Hit Hard by the Coronavirus: Wednesday, April 22, President Trump announced that the Administration is implementing a comprehensive strategy for distressed communities severely impacted by the coronavirus. Working with State and local leaders, the Administration will target resources to these communities and take other measures, including providing more support for community health care centers and expanding access to telehealth. The effort will be directed by the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council led by House and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.
- U.S. Department of the Treasury Releases Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance: Wednesday, April 22, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released guidance for State, Local, and Tribal Governments regarding the Coronavirus Relief Fund of the CARES Act. As stated by the legislation signed by President Trump on March 27, the use of funds “are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19).” The guidance document (here) and frequently asked questions (here) provide, in detail, examples of eligible and ineligible expenditures of the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund. You can find additional information about Assistance to State and local governments here.
- Treasury Department and IRS Release State-by-State Figures for Economic Impact Payments: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today released state-by-state figures for Economic Impact Payments, with 88 million individuals receiving payments worth nearly $158 billion in the program’s first three weeks. As of April 17, the IRS issued 88.1 million payments to taxpayers across the nation. More payments are continuing to be delivered each week. More than 150 million payments will be sent out, and millions of people who do not typically file a tax return are eligible to receive these payments. Payments are automatic for people who filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019, receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who didn’t file a tax return in the last two years. More here.
- HHS Award Nearly $165 Million to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rural Communities: Wednesday, April 22, the Department of Health and human Services awarded nearly $165 million to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities. These investments will support nearly 1,800 small rural hospitals and provide additional funding to 14 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funding Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) to provide technical assistance on telehealth to help rural and underserved areas combat COVID-19. More here. HHS also announced additional allocations of CARES Act Provider Relief fund. More information can be found here.
- Administration Releases COVID-19 Telehealth Toolkit to Accelerate State Use of Telehealth in Medicaid and CHIP: Thursday, April 23, the Trump Administration released a new toolkit for states to help accelerate adoption of broader telehealth coverage policies in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This release builds on the agency’s swift actions to provide states with a wide range of tools and guidance to support their ability to care for their Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries during this public health emergency. More here.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Announce New Nursing Home COVID-19 Transparency Effort: On Sunday, April 19, CDC announced new regulatory requirements that will require nursing homes to inform residents, their families and representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. CMS will now require nursing homes to report cases of COVID-19 directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Finally, CMS will also require nursing homes to fully cooperate with CDC surveillance efforts around COVID-19 spread.
- U.S. Department of Education Makes Available Over $13 Billion to Support Continued Education for K-12 Students: Thursday, April 23, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced more than $13.2 billion in emergency relief funds are available to State and local education agencies to support continued learning for K-12 students whose educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus. Read more here. Find more COVID-19 resources from the Department of Education here.
COVID-19: Important Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Officials
- Guidelines for Opening Up America Again: On April 16, President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force unveiled new guidelines (download here) for the reopening of America. Developed by the top medical experts from across the Government and based on verifiable metrics regarding the situation on the ground, the guidelines outline a phased return to reopening and include specific steps for State, Local, and Tribal officials to follow in tailoring their response. The guidelines also set clear benchmarks on new cases, testing, and hospital resources for States to meet to proceed toward a phased reopening. In the days and weeks ahead, the Administration plans to continue robust coordination and outreach with State, Local, and Tribal leaders as we collectively work to reopen the country.
- Coronavirus Guidelines for America: On March 31, the White House announced updated Coronavirus Guidelines for America (Español), extending social distancing efforts through April 30. On April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance recommending individuals wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. grocery stores and pharmacies, particularly in areas of significant community-based transmission. On April 8, CDC also provided guidelines regarding when people in critical infrastructure roles can return to work after being exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. Additional information on critical infrastructure below.
- Up-To-Date Information: The most up-to-date, verified information and guidance can be found via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website – www.coronavirus.gov. The Coronavirus Task Force holds frequent briefings, which can be viewed live here.
- COVID-19 Response and Recovery Primer: Response and recovery efforts are locally executed, state managed, and federally supported. It is important that requests for assistance, including for critical supplies, get routed through the proper channels as soon as possible. Learn more about the response and recovery process via this important resource – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Response and Recovery Through Federal-State-Local-Tribal Partnership. FEMA’s public assistance guidance for COVID-19 response efforts can be found here. Guidance for Tribal Governments can be found here.
- Critical Infrastructure Workforce Guidelines: On March 16th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued updated critical infrastructure guidance in response to the COVID-19 emergency. DHS continues to work with stakeholders in the critical infrastructure community to update the advisory list if necessary as the Nation’s response to COVID-19 evolves. The guidance, and accompanying list, is intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. The list is advisory in nature and is not a federal directive or standard.
- Rural Resource Guide: USDA and Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs can support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses, and communities. USDA developed a resource guide for State, Local, and Tribal leaders, and other stakeholders.
- Coronavirus Fact vs. Myth: Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. FEMA setup a website to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Fraud & Scam Protection: The Department of Justice is remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. Find out how you can protect yourself and helpful resources on DOJ’s Coronavirus Fraud Prevention website. The Federal Trade Commission has also established a website with helpful information to help consumers avoid coronavirus-related scams.
- Social Media Resources: Download the Apple COVID-19 Screening Tool. Follow the White House on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow HHS (Twitter/Facebook) and CDC (Twitter/Facebook) You can also find informational videos from Coronavirus Task Force members on mitigation, social distancing, etc. on the White House’s YouTube page.
- Mental Health Resources: Natural disasters – including such pandemics as the coronavirus outbreak – can be overwhelming and also can seriously affect emotional health. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990 (or text TalkWithUs to 66746) – provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by developments related to the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about the Disaster Distress Helpline here.
- Addiction & Substance Abuse Resources: The COVID-19 pandemic has created countless challenges for those delivering care to our most vulnerable populations. People with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) are especially at high risk suffering complications from COVID-19. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which leads and coordinates the development, implementation, and assessment of U.S. drug policy, released a fact sheet that contains information on Federal actions to expand telemedicine and e-prescribing, to increase flexibility for treatment with methadone and buprenorphine, to improve access to prescribed controlled substances, and to expand assistance to rural areas.
- Administration Actions and Federal Agency Resources: USA.gov is cataloging all U.S. government activities related to coronavirus. From actions on health and safety to travel, immigration, and transportation to education, find pertinent actions here. Each Federal Agency has also established a dedicated coronavirus website, where you can find important information and guidance. They include: Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Education (DoED), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State (DOS), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of the Treasury (USDT), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).
Thank you again for your partnership in this whole-of-government, All-of-America effort to defeat the coronavirus. The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (WH IGA) will continue to share pertinent information as it becomes available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office if we can be of assistance. As a reminder, WH IGA is the primary liaison between the White House and the country’s State and Local elected officials and Tribal Governments.
The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
William F. Crozer
Special Assistant to the President/Deputy Director
White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs