During Public Health Week, TikTok Donates $15 million to Support Frontline Public Health Workers

If there was ever a time to celebrate the work of public health, this is it. While we are in the midst of the largest public health crisis of our lifetime, we are also this week commemorating National Public Health Week. Today the CDC Foundation team is excited to announce a $15 million contribution from TikTok to support COVID-19 response efforts to increase surge staffing for frontline public health staff.

Through this support from its Health Heroes Relief Fund, TikTok, the short-form mobile video platform, is supporting the CDC Foundation to hire hundreds of staff who can work with state and local governments in hard-hit outbreak centers. This effort will enhance bandwidth and expertise across a variety of areas, including epidemiology and surveillance, informatics and data management, health communications, community outreach, emergency response and management, and clinical care.

Public health scientists have been fighting COVID-19 even before the outbreak started in the United States with data and research. Researchers use surveillance data to keep track of the number of cases including hospitalizations and deaths; the many epidemiologists are tracking coronavirus to determine where a person may have contracted the virus and how many more people may be infected; and the science is being used to create guidance for healthcare workers, travelers, vulnerable populations and more to protect as many of us as possible from contracting COVID-19.

In addition to this generous support from TikTok, we have worked with our donors and partners to extend the COVID-19 response of public health organizations throughout the country. This work includes a variety of efforts, such as:

  • Providing immediate flexible support to address a number of urgent needs in local health departments, such as Seattle-King County in Washington State, Cobb-Douglas County and Fulton-DeKalb County in Georgia, Alameda County in California, and New York City,
  • Supporting public health laboratories to improve testing capabilities,
  • Purchasing and covering shipping for personal protective equipment for use by frontline health workers in areas throughout the country,
  • Facilitating in-kind health communications support to two San Francisco Bay-area health departments and adapting materials from there to be shared with health departments throughout the nation,
  • Providing support through a contribution from Kaiser Permanente to 11 leading U.S. public health organizations that work with state and local health officers to strengthen the nation’s public health, system,
  • Distributing 17,500 care kits to first responders in the states of Washington, Georgia, Florida and Wisconsin,
  • And much more.

As we navigate through this pandemic, we are grateful for all those who are dedicated to battling COVID-19 in every community by using science to detect, prevent and respond to this disease. Thank you, public health professionals!


Judy Monroe
Judy Monroe, MD, is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.