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Nonprofit created to oversee Ohio opioid settlement funds begins work

Year after federal funds announced to fight COVID disparities, states still not moving forward

A year after the Biden administration announced $2.25 billion would be sent to states to address COVID health disparities, little of the money has been used (Source: “States Have Yet to Spend Hundreds of Millions of Federal Dollars to Tackle COVID Health Disparities,” Kaiser Health News, May 16).

The Biden administration in March 2021 announced it was allocating the money to address COVID health disparities, the largest federal funding initiative designed specifically to help underserved communities hardest hit by the virus.

Two months later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded grants to every state health department and 58 large city and county health agencies. The money is intended to help limit the spread of COVID-19 among those most at risk in rural areas and within racial and ethnic minority groups, as well as improve their health. The CDC initially said the grant had to be spent by May 2023, but earlier this year told states they could apply to extend that time.

A year after the funding was announced, little of the money has been used, according to a Kaiser Health News review of about a dozen state and county agencies’ grants (Ohio was not included in the analysis).