Members of the Children’s Budget Coalition, comprising over 80 advocacy organizations dedicated to prioritizing children and families in federal policy and budget decisions, sent the following letter to the leaders of both chambers of Congress urging them to pass a robust, comprehensive emergency relief package this month to address the escalating needs of our nation’s children and families.

Excerpt from the letter:

The coronavirus infection rates are spiking across the country — exceeding 14 million cases — and while children are not being infected at similar rates, their health and well-being are in no way immune. A November report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association finds the number of COVID-19 cases exceeds 1 million among children. At the same time, the number of uninsured children is at its highest level in two decades. This includes children in correctional facilities, of whom more than 2300 have tested positive, and numbers continue to climb among both youth and staff according to the Sentencing Project. In addition, recent data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicates that COVID-19 has led to a drastic decline in essential child health services such as screenings for developmental delays in physical, cognitive, or sensory (such as vision) health; childhood vaccinations and immunizations; and routine primary and preventive care. Forgoing essential child health care can lead to long-term health consequences, particularly for children with special health care needs and those who live in poverty.

Read the full letter here.