Underwood Works to Reopen America While Protecting Public Health

April 21, 2020
Press Release
Joins legislative effort to help states implement safe, sustainable, and science-based reopening plans

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) joined a new legislative effort to safely reopen America during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Reopen America Act of 2020 (H.R. 6525) establishes a comprehensive national effort to reopen the U.S. economy while aggressively protecting the public against recurring coronavirus outbreaks. The legislation led by Representative Jamie Raskin (MD-08) has gained support from over 50 members in the House of Representatives. 

“We must reopen our economy by following the facts and science, which means we must first drastically increase testing and contact tracing to reduce the spread of the virus, as well as ensure our health system is prepared to treat all patients with the best care possible,” said Underwood. “The Reopen America Act is a science-based  plan to aggressively protect people from recurring outbreaks while ensuring businesses can safely reopen and stay open.” 

Under the Reopen America Act, two public health conditions must be met for America to reopen safely and durably: First, social distancing must have lowered infection rates sufficiently to allow hospitals to properly care for the infected population; and second, public health safeguards must be able to keep transmission rates below one, which is the rate at which the disease will decline and eventually die out. 

The Reopen America Act would: 

  • Create science-based guidelines through social distancing and public health safeguards that must be met for America to reopen safely and durably. 
  • Establish comprehensive federal leadership with financial, scientific, and logistical support to allow states to safely reopen their economies after this period of self-isolation and economic shutdown. 
  • Create a federal Health Equipment Production Board to activate industry to generate the tests, protective equipment, ventilators, and effective treatments necessary to reopen in a way that puts public health first. 
  • Establish a Coronavirus Reopening Advisory Panel of epidemiologists, economists, and representatives of industry and labor to provide reopening guidance.