Standing Together Against COVID-19 On Giving Tuesday Now

Today is #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. There are now over 3 million cases of COVID-19 globally. As this pandemic continues to impact families throughout the world, we need your support.

In January, the CDC Foundation launched its coronavirus response and began to raise critical funds to fight the virus. These donations are supporting some of the most needed resources for our health and public health workers, including providing personal protective equipment and medical supplies, increasing lab capacity, deploying emergency staffing to U.S. public health agencies, boosting clinical research to improve health outcomes, building capacity and infrastructure for global response efforts and much more.

As we look ahead as state and localities begin to open up again, many experts agree that a combination of public health tools will be needed to keep people safe and healthy. These include increased testing capacity, detailed demographic data on confirmed coronavirus cases and contact tracing.

State and local public health departments across the United States are key in the fight to combat this novel coronavirus. These workers are our health heroes. I have been privileged to witness their heroic acts throughout my career working as a family physician, in academia, as a state health officer, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and now as head of the CDC Foundation.

In my role, I am honored to support those who are working on the frontlines and behind the scenes of this unprecedented response. Through support from our donors, the CDC Foundation has provided necessary equipment to places like the Cobb & Douglas Public Health in Georgia. The department serves a population of over 900,000 residents.

“We have consistently been one of the districts in Georgia with the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths,” said Rachel Franklin, MPH, director of epidemiology and health assessment for Cobb & Douglas Public Health. “We have expanded our epidemiology team with funding from the CDC Foundation and will continue to expand because we are re-starting contact tracing. The work is immense, and we never feel close to being caught up.”

Annually, over 40 percent of funding for Cobb & Douglas Public Health comes from fees and private contributions made by individuals, businesses and foundations. In the COVID-19 response, CDC Foundation donations have been critical for their work, including purchasing personal protection equipment for staff conducting mass COVID-19 testing at drive-through sites.

“This gear is so important in order to protect our nurses who are ‘up close and personal’ with individuals to collect a nasopharyngeal sample. Without these supplies, we would not be able to host these rapid test sites or test so many residents.”

Through the support of our donors, the CDC Foundation has addressed a variety of needs for health workers across the nation as part of our response. To date, we have supplied personal protective equipment (PPE) to local health departments in New York, Philadelphia, Michigan, Georgia, and many other areas. In addition to medical equipment, we have allocated 30,000 care kits to first responders in California, New Orleans, New York, Minnesota, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey. The CDC Foundation also launched an effort to rapidly hire more than 750 field employees to boost response efforts in states, territories and tribes—and much more.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought so many of us together and inspired millions of people worldwide to volunteer, perform countless acts of kindness, and donate their voices, time, money and goods. Even as we practice physical distancing, we can remain connected through kindness and generosity. In trying times generosity has been demonstrated by all the people who have given to the CDC Foundation throughout its history and now amid this global pandemic. It is a time when all of us can come together, united around a common cause.

It’s my hope that today on #GivingTuesdayNow, you will join the community of people who have donated to the CDC Foundation as it supports the lifesaving work of our nation’s health heroes.

Together we stand. Together we give. Together we heal.

Join us for #GivingTuesdayNow.

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