Pelosi Calls for 'Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate' Contact Tracing

By Susan Jones | May 28, 2020 | 11:30am EDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks to reporters on May 28, 2020. (Photo: Screen capture)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks to reporters on May 28, 2020. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told a news conference on Thursday that the Democrats' Heroes Act -- ignored by Senate Republicans -- would require an "updated" coronavirus testing plan, including "culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies" for tracing the contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19.

Pelosi has said many times that "testing, testing, testing, tracing, tracing, tracing" is the key to reopening the nation's economy.

The Heroes Act, Pelosi said on Thursday, "strengthens testing and contact tracing by requiring an updated testing plan with clear benchmarks and timelines in it, providing $75 billion in grants to support testing, tracing, and isolation with special focus on addressing disparities.

"And that money will be distributed to the states, and we want the tracing to be done by those who are culturally compatible with the communities in which they are collecting data and tracing, and require, again, culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies for increasing access."

Pelosi noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has called for a "pause" in federal outlays until the money already appropriated for coronavirus response has all be distributed.

"We need a pause?" she asked. "Tell that to the virus. Is the virus taking a pause? Is hunger in America taking a pause? Do you see that the children in America have food insecurity to such an extent, even though we have passed legislation to provide more food for children who are not in school because that's where they get their main meals.

“But we have to be more effective in how that is distributed, and we need more resources. And that's in the Heroes Act as well."

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