Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), the Ranking Member of the House global health subcommittee, said today that the growing threat of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, requires Congress to immediately and adequately provide emergency funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies already working to protect US citizens.
“This week, the Trump administration is requesting at least $2.5 billion in additional funding to combat the coronavirus,” said Smith. “The President, Secretary Azar, and others have moved swiftly to identify comprehensive ways to protect US citizens and prepare for a potential pandemic.”
The CDC reports, as of Feb. 25, that 14 cases have been diagnosed in the United States, plus 39 cases among repatriated persons from high-risk settings (such as the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan), for a current total of 53 cases within the United States.
“We cannot afford to underestimate the potential risk to Americans across the country,” Smith said. “We must bring to bear the full expertise, weight and resources of the federal government to help mitigate the dangers and foster real protection going forward,” he said.