SAN FRANCISCO - Health leaders in San Francisco are voicing their support for the American Rescue Plan. Those health leaders partnered with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to tout the benefits of that federal stimulus package.
Health leaders say the plan will provide much needed funding to get through the pandemic and beyond.
Some of San Francisco's most influential health care leaders gathered with Speaker Pelosi at North East Medical Services (NEMS) in the city. The speaker said the newly-enacted American rescue stimulus package will first speed vaccine delivery, and help the country take the first steps toward an economic recovery.
"We want to make sure that the rescue package is successful in what is sets out to do," said Pelosi. "Vaccines in the arms, money in the pockets of the American people."
Dr. Kenneth Tai from NEMS said his practice, which focuses on delivering medical care to Chinese language speaking patients, will be able to continue its mission with added funding from the rescue plan.
"The plan will allocate $7.6 billion in flexible COVID-19 funding for community health centers like NEMS across the U.S.," said Dr. Tai. "NEMS will receive $11 million for the next two years."
The city's director of public health also weighed in, saying the plan will help speed vaccine delivery, a critical element to controlling the pandemic, and allowing the city to flourish again.
"When we receive a steady and increased vaccine supply we will be well on our way to getting 80% of San Franciscan's vaccinated by mid-May," said Dr. Grant Colfax. "This is exciting as this is our ticket out."
In January, the city's public health department announced their ambitious goal of vaccinating the entire eligible adult population by June 30.
The doctors said the federal funds will also help with non-COVID related issues in years to come.
"This funding is especially important for our work to care for and protect the vulnerable Asian seniors who've been targeted in recent months by hate and violence," said Dr. Tai.
While Speaker Pelosi and health leaders in San Francisco support the American Rescue Plan, it was passed without any Republican lawmaker support. Opponents to the plan say it's too expensive, too broad and doesn't designate enough specifically to COVID relief.