Washington, DC—Below is a statement from Bryan K. Barnett, President of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Mayor of Rochester Hills, MI, on the reported bipartisan agreement Congress reached today on a package to combat the coronavirus. Earlier today, USCM sent a letter to both the House and Senate calling on lawmakers to prioritize the needs of cities as this crisis unfolds, including a request for $2 billion to reimburse states and localities for uncompensated care.

“The nation’s mayors are pleased that Congress understands the urgency of the situation and is acting quickly on an emergency supplemental appropriation package to address the coronavirus outbreak.  Cites are going to be central to this response effort, and federal resources directed to the frontline local responders will be critical to safeguarding our citizens.

“There is great potential when leaders on the local, state and federal levels can put aside differences and protect the well-being of all Americans. As this situation develops, mayors will continue to stress that Congress must provide direct resources to cities as we help ensure that our residents get the care and protections they need.  We stand ready to work in close collaboration with Congress and the Administration to address this developing threat.”