Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik participated this morning in a bipartisan, Congressional-wide briefing on the Coronavirus by federal health and infectious disease experts including Dr. Robert Kadlec, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Health and Human Services; Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health; Dr. Robert R. Redfield, M.D., Director, Center for Disease Control; Dr. Stephen Hahn, M.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Mr. Gary Rasicot, Acting Assistant Secretary, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, Department of Homeland Security; Mr. David Stilwell, Assistant Secretary for East Asian Pacific Affairs, State Department; Mr. Robert Salesses, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Homeland Defense Integration and Defense Support of Civil Authorities, Department of Defense; Brigadier General (Dr.) Paul Friedrichs, M.D., Joint Staff Surgeon, Joint Chiefs of Staff; and a representative from the Office of Management and Budget.
The briefing highlighted the need for funding and coordination at the highest federal level, including the naming of a Coronavirus czar to coordinate. The health experts also discussed the importance of scaling the development and manufacturing of test kits to ensure all public health labs across the country have access to testing capabilities. Additionally, the briefing highlighted the needs of developing and executing effective enhanced mitigation strategy for state and local government coordination with federal health officials regarding Coronavirus.
“As a Member of Congress, I believe it is an important responsibility to share this information with my constituents to ensure that it is accurately provided to communities and public health officials across our district,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The most important defense we have is the local public health systems across the country that are equipped to screen and diagnose. I know our public health officials in the North Country are hard at work, and I urge all individuals who may have health concerns to seek immediate care with your health providers. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of my offices for any additional information.”
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has encouraged all individuals with specific Coronavirus queries to call the designated hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO, where questions and referrals will be answered immediately.