WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) addressed the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and what it means for individuals in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Specifically, Sen. Warner expressed concern with the Trump Administration’s response to the outbreak, and stressed the need for a more aggressive response in order to effectively combat the coronavirus. He also encouraged Virginians to heed instructions from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and directed Virginians to the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
A transcript of his remarks is available below:
“Hello, I’m Virginia Senator Mark Warner. Today, I’d like to talk to you about the coronavirus outbreak and what it means for the Commonwealth.
“As folks may know, coronavirus has sickened more than 82,000 people around the world. Almost three thousand people have died – now, mostly all in China. In the United States, there have been sixty confirmed cases – none of which are currently in the Commonwealth. However, the Center for Disease Control – CDC – has stated that the virus is expected spread within the U.S. on some level.
“My office has been in regular contact with officials on the ground in Virginia. Our priority is to make sure they have the resources they need and are fully prepared to respond to any potential cases of coronavirus in the Commonwealth. In addition, I’ve been closely tracking the actions of the Trump Administration and working with federal officials to make sure they’re taking this threat seriously.
“Earlier this month, I wrote to the Administration asking them to redirect available public health funds to combat this virus and to inform me and my fellow Senators of any additional resources they may need. This week the Trump Administration asked Congress for $2.5 billion dollars in order to contain the coronavirus and to try to prevent it from spreading in the U.S.
“I am reviewing this request, but frankly, based upon the initial feedback of public health experts, I am concerned that the Administration’s response to date may not be aggressive enough to effectively combat the virus. I’m also concerned that we will need a more robust response – particularly in funding – if we are going to be fully prepared.
“I plan to continue working with folks in the Commonwealth and at the federal level to ensure the health and safety of all our fellow Virginians. In the meantime, I urge all Virginians to heed CDC advice, including travel advisories and tips on how to keep your family safe. For more information, visit www.CDC.gov. We will get through this. Thanks so much.”