Vilsack looks to help Rural America get to other side of pandemic
Tom Vilsack is putting an emphasis on helping Rural America get to the other side of the coronavirus pandemic as he begins his second stint as secretary of USDA.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Vilsack said the Biden administration’s priority is to contain COVID-19 and then build back a better economy.
“The virus has probably hit all of us in one form or another, but it has hit Rural America in a very specific and hard way.”
He says data shows rural residents are more vulnerable to infection and death.
“And that’s why it’s incredibly important for the Department of Agriculture that is focused on rural development and rural life, to do what it can to expand access to healthcare facilities and healthcare generally.”
To that end, Vilsack announced $42 million in grants to assist rural communities, healthcare centers and schools through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Opportunities Program.