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Meet the Federal Agencies Overseeing the Response to COVID-19

HomeEducationalMeet the Federal Agencies Overseeing the Response to COVID-19

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When it comes to COVID-19, figuring out who is in charge is confusing. There are some predominant agencies that are important to know as you read the news. Keeping these different agencies straight can help you understand who is doing what in the nation’s response to COVID-19. By researching these agencies closely, you can make good judgments about your response to COVID-19.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is an agency responsible for public health research. Their goal, according to their website, is to “enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.” They study a variety of physical ailments and make steps to reduce the impact they have on the nation. Of course, coronavirus research has become an integral part of their research over the last couple of months.

The NIH has and continues to support many studies on the coronavirus to help inform the nation’s response to the pandemic. They have shifted non-emergency studies to later and have been allocating many resources to understanding the COVID-19 pandemic better. Their studies have been important in informing the federal response to COVID-19.


The CDC has been a leading force in advising people how to respond to the pandemic. CDC stands for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the CDC is responsible for overseeing numerous health threats across the country.

During the current pandemic, they have been gathering information about how COVID-19 is affecting individuals and communities. They examine how it affects particular demographic groups. This is how we know who warrants a “high risk individual”. The CDC also investigates what short-term and long-term effects of the disease may be and how it spreads. They’ve published papers, signage, and other materials to help educate the nation about what precautionary measures to take.


This third acronym stands for the Food and Drug Administration. Their many responsibilities include ensuring the safety of the nation by knowing everything about the food, drugs, medical devices distributed within the United States. By helping the public get the information they need  about these products and enforcing regulations for these products, they help the public make informed decisions and improve the nation’s health.

The FDA plays an important role in the pandemic response—it is the FDA that must approve the COVID-19 vaccine before it can be distributed. They also have released a guide on food handling during COVID-19 and what hand sanitizers are dangerous.

Hopefully this guide has helped you clear confusion about the several entities that are mentioned all over the news. As you decide how to best navigate the pandemic with your family, school, or business, refer back to these agencies to get important and accurate information.

Read this next: How Businesses Can Encourage Productivity During COVID-19

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