Livestock Groups Send Letter Advocating for Needs of Rural Healthcare Providers Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

DENVER (April 13, 2020) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today to request rural healthcare providers have resources and funding to properly respond to the COVID-19 virus.

“Rural healthcare providers have unique needs unlike densely populated areas. We are calling on Secretary Alex Azar and Secretary Sonny Perdue to ensure rural healthcare providers have needed resources, particularly where the number of providers are limited across a vast geographic area, and technology to allow for expanded tele-health services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
– NCBA CEO Colin Woodall

“This is not business as usual for the sheep and cattle industry. Poor market conditions bring unprecedented levels of stress to farmers and ranchers. COVID-19 has exacerbated this burden through isolation and uncertainty for these industries. We must ensure farmers and ranchers do not navigate this alone by providing ample access to mental health assistance.”
– ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick

“Much of rural America operates with limited numbers of healthcare providers. If doctors, nurses, or administrators serving rural areas become exposed to COVID-19, it could result in loss of access to care for large regions. It is essential these hospitals have resources to protect their employees and the rural communities at the frontlines of this crisis.”
– PLC Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover

The full letter sent to Secretary Azar and Secretary Perdue can be viewed here.