Fact check: Is TRACE Act's federal funding tied to refusing entry to unvaccinated?

McKenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY

The claim: H.R. 6666 funding  is conditioned on banning nonvaccinated people 

A bill focused on contact tracing that was introduced by an Illinois congressman has created a social media uproar and led to many false claims online.

One post claimed facilities mentioned in the legislation will receive funding only if they ban nonvaccinated persons from their locations. Social media users quickly began sharing a popular meme on Facebook that was posted May 9.

“Congress just introduced a bill. HR 6666,” the post reads. “It gives 100 billion dollars to schools, churches and medical buildings, the only way they can receive the money is to agree by contract that they will only allow people into their facilities that have the covid 19 vaccination, are tested and tracked. It’s on congress.gov. Awake yet!?”

The claim was just one of many concerning the TRACE Act: Testing, Reaching and Contacting Everyone, which now is before  the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Other false claims about the bill have already been debunked.

Fact check: Bill Gates did not craft contact tracing bill

Bill proposes $100 billion in funding

The TRACE Act, introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., on May 1, does allow for $100 billion in the form of grants to be given to eligible entities as described in the bill. They include federally qualified health centers, school-based health clinics, and "disproportionate share" hospitals, and nonprofit and academic medical centers.

Other qualified grant recipients include high schools, institutions of higher education and “any other type of entity that is determined by the Secretary (of Health and Human Services) to be an eligible entity for purposes of this section,” according to the bill text.

Related: Here's how new mobile apps could warn you of coronavirus exposure

The grants given to the entities would be used to create mobile health units that would provide testing and providing individuals with services related to testing and quarantining at their homes. Funding would also be used to “hire, train, compensate, and pay the expenses of individuals … and to purchase personal protective equipment and other supplies.”

Priority would be given to applicants in COVID-19 hot spots or facilities in medically undeserved communities, the bill says. The main purposes of the bill would be to fund contact tracing to combat the spread of the coronavirus and to provide more testing.

“Given that many people with coronavirus are asymptomatic, contact tracing becomes even more important if we are serious about getting back to work and back to normal,” Rush said on his site.

Related: US pledges up to $1.2 billion to access 300 million doses of experimental COVID-19 vaccine

No reference to a contract prohibting the entry of unvaccinated

While there are testing and trials in the works to create a vaccination for COVID-19, the bill makes no mention of limiting funding to entities that require people be vaccinated against the virus before being granted access inside one of the facilities.

No provisions in the legislation mention vaccination. In fact, the words “vaccine” and “vaccination” are not once used in the bill text.

A vaccine for COVID-19 does not yet exist, making it impossible to require vaccinations before entering one of the facilities that would be funded by the bill.

Rush said on his site that until a vaccine is readily available, “contact tracing in order to understand the full breadth and depth of the spread of this virus is the only way we will be able to get out from under this.”

Our rating: Partly false

H.R. 6666 does propose $100 billion in funding in the form of grants for organizations such as health care centers, nonprofits and academic entities to create mobile testing sites and to hire and train staff to perform increased testing and engage in contact tracing to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

However, the bill does not have any mention of a contract providing that facilities would be eligible for funding under the bill only if they agree to prohibit people who haven't received COVID-19 vaccines from entering their facilities. The text of the bill makes no mention of such a contract. There is no vaccine yet available for the virus, making such a provision impossible.

We rate this claim as PARTLY FALSE because some of it was not supported by our research.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Is TRACE Act's funding tied to prohibiting unvaccinated?