Secretary Vilsack will prioritize healthcare in rural development strategy

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack tells reporters that USDA will prioritize healthcare as part of its rural development strategy.

While COVID rates in rural areas are coming down, Vilsack says that they are higher than other areas. He said that the agency is providing both financial and technical assistance to contain and to “get to the other side” of the pandemic.

According to the Secretary, “There are a number of factors-- lack of insurance...lack of access to facilities. 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 in general.”

USDA announced an additional $42 million dollars in funding for telemedicine this week and has more than 350 staffers helping with local vaccine efforts.