WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement after voting with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a Coronavirus preparedness and response supplemental package.
“This rapidly evolving public health emergency requires swift action. Just yesterday, I met with Vice President Pence and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx to discuss the immediate U.S. strategy to contain the Coronavirus, prevent its further spread, and keep our communities safe. During our meeting, it was clear there is strong support from both Democrats and Republicans to advance emergency support funding as soon as possible,” said Spanberger. “The funding package passed in the House today contains critical provisions that would provide medical assistance to those already affected. Importantly, the bill allows the HHS Secretary to waive telehealth restriction in the Medicare program during the Coronavirus public health emergency, allowing more beneficiaries to receive care from physicians and other practitioners without leaving their homes. Voting to pass this legislation was an imperative, especially as we look to develop effective vaccines and prepare our local health agencies for the challenges that might arise. I continue to receive many phone calls and emails into my office from concerned Central Virginians, and I will keep working to ensure our communities are informed, prepared, and supported.”
The emergency appropriations package includes $8.3 billion in funding for vaccine development, reimbursements for state and local governments, and financial assistance to affected small businesses. Specifically, it includes $826 million to support the National Institutes of Health’s research and development of vaccines, therapies, and tests to prevent and treat the effects of Coronavirus.
Yesterday, Spanberger and a bipartisan group of her colleagues met with Vice President Pence and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx at the White House to discuss the administration’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
Last week, Spanberger questioned Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield about the U.S. response to this growing public health emergency. And earlier last week, Spanberger called on the administration to appoint a point-person to coordinate a comprehensive, evidence-based U.S. response to Coronavirus.
The CDC provides the following guidance for Americans who want to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.