Rural areas want virus reduction cash swiftly

February 9, 2021 Updated: February 9, 2021 2:32 am

BANGOR, Maine (AP) – The independent Maine Senator has joined a push for the federal government to prioritize money for emergency aid to coronavirus in rural areas.

Senator Angus King, who is negotiating with Democrats, said the emergency public health and welfare fund money needs to get to rural areas quickly because of the need for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and other vital services. King joined a non-partisan group of senators from largely rural states and urged the U.S. Department of Health to distribute the money quickly.

The senators said Congress allocated $ 2.5 billion under the public health fund to high-risk, underserved and rural communities. They said in a statement that “additional resources are needed to ensure that health care providers and health departments have the resources necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”