HENRICO, V.A. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger — a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee — today joined Virginia business and community leaders in a virtual town hall to discuss how strengthened U.S. engagement around the world can better protect the health and safety of Virginians and all Americans.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted today’s online event to examine how U.S. lawmakers are thinking about the country’s long-term response to the pandemic at home and abroad. During the event, Spanberger spoke about how U.S. international engagement is a crucial component of combatting the devastating effects of COVID-19 from a global health, security, and economic perspective. In Virginia alone, more than one million jobs are tied to international trade and exports. Additionally, researchers in Virginia are collaborating with international experts to identify paths forward in the battle against COVID-19 — including on issues ranging from advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing to food insecurity.
“In Central Virginia and across the country, we’ve seen this pandemic completely turn lives, businesses, and economies upside down. While states and local governments are doing everything they can to fight COVID-19 here at home, we will never defeat this virus unless we also work to combat its spread around the world,” said Spanberger. “The United States must rise to this challenge and use our country’s global health, diplomacy, and humanitarian programs to alleviate suffering, save lives, and prevent an eventual resurgence here at home. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I fully stand behind these programs — to protect the health and safety of all Americans and to strengthen our country’s necessary leadership on the global stage.”
“From her first day in office, Congresswoman Spanberger has worked across the aisle supporting investments in global health and diplomacy as critical to protecting America’s national security,” said Liz Schrayer, President and CEO, USGLC. “And in the face of this global pandemic, she is again standing up for America to lead at home and abroad, because she understands that as long as COVID-19 is anywhere, Americans are still at risk.”
Many of the participants on today’s virtual town hall were members of the USGLC’s Virginia Advisory Committee, a diverse coalition that brings together more than 90 business, faith, non-profit, veteran, and government leaders who share the understanding that American global leadership is a top priority for Virginia’s long-term economic and security interests.
Click here to watch the full event.
As a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Spanberger has consistently called on the administration to strengthen U.S. engagement in the international effort to address the COVID-19 pandemic. During a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Asia-Pacific and Nonproliferation Subcommittee in early February 2020, Spanberger described her concerns about how ongoing U.S. diplomatic vacancies could restrict the ability of the United States to respond to growing numbers of coronavirus cases in countries around the world and adequately prepare U.S. citizens for a long-term public health threat.