WASHINGTON — America’s 3.6 million county employees are on the front lines of the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout the country, EMTs, nurses, doctors and support personnel at our county hospitals, law enforcement officials, firefighters, public health experts, human services professionals, coroners and medical examiners, and other county government employees, are saving lives and serving communities.
Americans are showing deep gratitude for the daily sacrifices of these essential workers, though most people have no idea they are county employees. The We Are Counties campaign, launched today by the National Association of Counties (NACo), aims to put a face on frontline workers, while calling on federal decision-makers to provide support for these public servants.
“Dedicated county employees are addressing unprecedented challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. The We Are Counties campaign will show everyone that counties are people – public servants who are making tremendous sacrifices, putting their own lives at risk – to save lives and keep all of us healthy and safe. That’s what makes them heroes,” said NACo President Mary Ann Borgeson, a Douglas County, Neb. commissioner.
Nationwide, counties serve more than 300 million residents by supporting and operating nearly 1,000 hospitals, over 800 long-term care facilities, 750 behavioral health centers, 1,900 public health departments, emergency operations centers and 911 systems.
The We Are Counties social media campaign will highlight the selfless service of counties’ 328,000 hospital workers, 330,000 law enforcement officials, 93,000 first responders and many other frontline warriors in America’s battle against the coronavirus.
The campaign comes at a time when America’s counties are facing at least a $144 billion budget impact as a result of skyrocketing costs and plummeting revenues. Counties are urging federal support for counties’ vast health, safety and economic recovery responsibilities, many of which are mandated by states and the federal government.
“We have been strongly advocating for direct and flexible federal funding for county responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and our lost revenue,” Borgeson added. “These are more than just numbers in a spreadsheet. We are talking about vital services our residents need and the people who deliver them day in and day out.”
We Are Counties features pictures and videos of county workers across the country. Look for #WeAreCounties on social media, and learn more about the campaign and view other NACo resources at www.WeAreCounties.org.Standard