Warren, Levin roll out plan for coronavirus 'containment corps'

Warren, Levin roll out plan for coronavirus 'containment corps'
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenGOP set to release controversial Biden report Biden's fiscal program: What is the likely market impact? Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Andy LevinAndrew (Andy) LevinInslee calls Biden climate plan 'perfect for the moment' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: 20 states sue over Trump rule limiting states from blocking pipeline projects | House Democrats add 'forever chemicals' provisions to defense bill after spiking big amendment | Lawmakers seek extension for tribes to spend stimulus money House Democrats add some 'forever chemicals' provisions to defense bill after spiking major amendment MORE (D-Mich.) introduced a plan on Thursday to create a "containment corps" that would carry out a national coronavirus contact tracing program. 

The Democratic proposal would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a plan within 30 days to "hire, deploy and train" individuals who would be responsible for investigating cases of the coronavirus and performing contact tracing. 

"In order to keep our communities healthy and get our economy up and running, we must stand up a national contact tracing program that will stop the spread of this virus dead in its tracks," Warren said in a statement.

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Levin added that "establishing a nationwide contact tracing program is the only way we can truly know the progress we've made in containing the virus, and how far we have left to go before we can transition back to normal life."

The Democratic lawmakers want to get their plan included in the next coronavirus bill passed by Congress. To help accurately scale the contact tracing, they are also calling for the CDC to step up coronavirus testing. 

Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Suburban moms are going to decide the 2020 election Jon Stewart urges Congress to help veterans exposed to burn pits MORE (D-N.Y.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency Next crisis, keep people working and give them raises MORE (D-Colo.) rolled out their own plan on Wednesday that would provide $55 billion per year to hire hundreds of thousands of people to carry out testing, contact tracing and eventually vaccinating to fight the coronavirus.

The Warren-Levin proposal would require the CDC to consult with states and localities and determine how many individuals they would need to work as case investigators or to perform contact tracing, the process of finding people who have been in contact with infected individuals and informing them so they can quarantine themselves. 

It would also require the CDC to provide grants to local health departments to carry out the investigations and contact tracing, with additional funding given based on population.

To help staff the program, it would require the Department of Labor to provide funding to help workplace agencies provide unemployed individuals with information about the contact tracing program and connect them to long-term employment opportunities after the end of the coronavirus health crisis. 

Within 120 days of the health emergency ending, the Labor Department would have to publicly report details of the program such as how many individuals were hired, how many were previously unemployed and how many gained long-term employment after the end of the coronavirus public health emergency.