April 29, 2020

Van Hollen, Cardin, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes Announce $200,000 for Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and John P. Sarbanes (all D-Md.) today announced $200,000 in federal funding to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant program to support the management and development of the COVID-19 online interactive dashboard hosted by the JHU Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE). The dashboard may be viewed here. Awarded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this federal funding will support system maintenance and improvements, including increasing the geographical specificity of data, potentially to the city level. 

“Accurate, real-time information about the spread of COVID-19 in each and every community is critical for our response to the pandemic. The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard remains the foremost tracking resource for public health experts and policymakers nationwide,” said the lawmakers. “We are committed to delivering sustained federal support to this important project.”

“The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reflects our University’s foundational commitment to providing sound data and expert analysis to the world. It is a collaboration between our leading public health experts, engineers and data scientists designed to inform sound policy and save lives in communities in Maryland and around the globe,” said JHU President Ronald J. Daniels. “We are profoundly grateful to the National Science Foundation and to our Baltimore City Congressional delegation who have long championed the indispensable role that universities like Johns Hopkins play in advancing human flourishing and serving our nation.” 

The dashboard was first released publicly on January 22, 2020, to visualize and track the COVID-19 outbreak in real-time, and has since served as the prominent centralized source of COVID-19 epidemiological data. The dashboard illustrates the location and number of confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries for all affected countries, with additional features added over time. All the data collected and displayed is made freely available to researchers, public health authorities and the general public. The full project abstract and additional information from the NSF may be found here. 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorized $75 million to NSF to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, including to fund research grants and other necessary expenses. NSF will allocate funding to support research at molecular, cellular, physiological and ecological levels to better understand coronavirus genetics, modes of action, transmission, virulence and population dynamics. NSF supports research activities at more than 2,000 research institutions across the United States and is ready to mobilize the full force of the academic community including through Rapid Response Research (RAPID) proposals. The delegation previously announced the award of a RAPID Grant for research at the University of Maryland, College Park.