The initiative will provide cities with virtual coaching, shared best practices and up-to-date information.
Bloomberg Philanthropies, working with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, has launched a new programme of support to help American mayors respond to the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
Michael R. Bloomberg, who last week dropped out of the US presidential race, announced the coronavirus Local Response Initiative today at the National League of Cities 2020 Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C.
It aims to provide cities with virtual technical assistance, coaching and accurate information to help local leaders on the frontlines of the public health crisis.
“As the virus continues to spread through communities around the world, with devastating impact on the wellbeing of residents and local economies, it has fallen to mayors to step up to direct the response."
“As the virus continues to spread through communities around the world, with devastating impact on the wellbeing of residents and local economies, it has fallen to mayors to step up to direct the response,” a statement said.
Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with partners to identify and document, “in real-time”, the needs and lessons learned from cities like Seattle experiencing the outbreak that can be shared with other cities to help them get ahead of the virus’ spread.
“Mayors are on the front lines of the biggest challenges facing the country, including the coronavirus crisis,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and former mayor of New York City. “But right now, there’s an enormous gap between the support the federal government is providing and the support local governments need. This new initiative – an unprecedented collaboration involving experts from Harvard and Johns Hopkins – will help fill the gap, and help local leaders work to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the social and economic well-being of communities.”
The network will provide mayors with up-to-date information on the virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and work to help them understand how to act on it.
“At the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, our epidemiologists, virologists, policy experts and specialists in preparedness are collaborating in efforts across all areas relevant to the coronavirus response," said Ellen J. MacKenzie, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
"We are pleased to collaborate with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative to offer our expertise to help local communities offer evidence-based responses.”
The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership initiative will tailor its virtual programming for mayors, bringing in experts from Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School, to focus on crisis leadership and crisis communications.
"This effort will help communities across the country pull through this difficult time.”
The programme also aims to connect mayors to share best practices and lessons learned from their recent experiences.
Seattle’s Mayor Durkan last week signed a Civil Emergency Order requesting state and federal assistance to respond to COVID-19.
“Seattle and state and local governments across the country are on the front lines on this quickly evolving public health emergency. At an unprecedented time, Mike Bloomberg is stepping forward with concrete and practical ways for us to learn from the best civic and health experts, share information in real-time, and zero in on what works to protect our residents and businesses,” said Durkan. “This effort will help communities across the country pull through this difficult time.”
Interested mayors and city leaders should email [email protected]
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in more than 570 cities and over 160 countries around the world. It encompasses Michael Bloomberg’s foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono city consultancy. In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3.3 billion.