The Co-Chair of AmeriCorps and the creator of AmeriCorps, former President Bill Clinton, wants to create a national contact tracing force using AmeriCorps volunteers.
The Co-Chair of the AmeriCorps, Congressman John Garamendi, recently introduced a bill that would "expand volunteer opportunities within AmeriCorps and the Federal Emergency Management Agency" (FEMA).
The bill "Undertaking National Initiatives to Tackle Epidemic Act" (UNITE Act) would allow AmeriCorps and FEMA to create a national contact-tracing corps. (see page 10)
"The bicameral legislation ensures that existing national and community service programs are fully mobilized in order to assist in testing and contact tracing. The bill would also ensure that Peace Corps volunteers, whose service involuntarily ended in March due to the global pandemic, will receive benefits and priority placement in these domestic programs so they can continue to use their skills by facilitating testing and contact tracing."
Six years ago, USA Today called "AmeriCorps a wasteful flop" saying many members are serving as recess referees. The article also asked the question, do we really need playground monitors?
In 2018 a CBS News investigation revealed that AmeriCorps programs, are rife with sexual misconduct and failed to meet federal standards and requirements.
"Conservative critics say AmeriCorps is a waste of money and promotes liberal causes. The Government Accountability Office found last year that CNCS has fallen short in monitoring whether the organizations it grants money to meet federal standards and requirements."The CBS News investigation also revealed that AmeriCorps and FEMA have a long history of working with young adults.
"AmeriCorps does directly oversee and manage NCCC, often in partnership with FEMA, where young adults travel together to work on projects like rebuilding areas affected by disasters."But none of that matters to our politicians, who hope you will forget that a national contact tracing corps would be run by a group that, since its inception, has been mismanaged and filled with sexual harassment cases.
“The coronavirus pandemic has put an unprecedented strain on our society, and our nation requires a significant scaling of testing and contact tracing in order to flatten the curve and lift stay-at-home orders. The UNITE Act empowers America’s service organizations to perform testing and contact tracing across the country and deliver the aid and support our communities require during the pandemic. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus and as a returned Peace Corps volunteer, I understand how capable America’s service organizations are to expand our nation’s testing and contact tracing to meet the needs of our country’s pandemic response. I thank Senators Markey and Van Hollen for sponsoring the companion bill in the Senate, and I will work to ensure the UNITE Act becomes law,” said Congressman Garamendi.
Clinton uses Massachusetts contact-tracing as a national model
(Starts at approx 7:45)
Should we allow AmeriCorps and FEMA, two agencies with known issues, to undertake this process and have access to our homes, lives, and children.? Giving them access would be mistake.