WASHINGTON, February 25, 2020 — U.S. Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the White House request for additional funding for novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, response:
“Every year, Senator Blunt and Senator Murray fund the programs that ensure we are prepared to address public health emergencies, and this is the right way for the White House to request additional funding for a specific public health threat. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will work to make sure that the federal government has the resources it needs to respond to the coronavirus.
“The Administration is doing an excellent job of keeping Americans safe so far—10 days ago there were 14 infections and today there are 14 infections, plus the 39 Americans that were brought back from China and Japan, mostly from the cruise ship. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken the extraordinary action of quarantining Americans coming from certain locations affected by the outbreak for the first time in 50 years and is coordinating with state and local public health departments to help with the response.
“As Chairman of the Senate health committee, I will continue to work to make sure that the Administration is implementing the preparedness and response framework for emerging public health threats that Congress has already provided. Next Tuesday, the committee is holding a hearing to find out more about what the Administration is doing to prevent spread of the coronavirus and what steps have been taken to coordinate the federal response.”
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