Michelle R. Smith, The Associated Press

Politics Slows Flow of US Pandemic Relief Funds to Public Health Agencies

Congress has allocated trillions of dollars to ease the coronavirus crisis. A joint KHN and AP investigation finds that many communities with big outbreaks have spent little of that federal money on local public health departments for work such as testing and contact tracing. Others, like Minnesota, were slow to do so. Bureaucracy has bogged things down, politics have crept into the process, and understaffed departments have struggled to take time away from critical needs to navigate the red tape required to justify asking for more money.