WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Members continue to closely monitor the international coronavirus outbreak. Today, Members received a briefing on the virus and the U.S. and international response from Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and RADM Denise Hinton, Chief Scientist, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Energy and Commerce Committee Members and staff at a Coronavirus briefing
Dr. Redfield told Members that, at this time, the immediate risk to the American people from the coronavirus is low. Dr. Redfield and Dr. Kadlec also described the extensive public health efforts being conducted in the U.S. to minimize the spread of the virus. Dr. Fauci and RADM Hinton described the current research efforts underway to identify diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines that could help in the effort to combat this virus. After remarks from the briefers, Members asked questions about the novel coronavirus.
There are six confirmed cases in four states: Washington, Illinois, California and Arizona.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and the public should take certain precautions, listed on the CDC’s website here under “CDC Recommends.” There is a Level 3 travel advisory to China issued by the Department of State and CDC, meaning Americans should avoid nonessential travel to China.
As the country is currently in the midst of flu season, the Department of Health and Human Services also emphasized the need to get vaccinated for the flu. The CDC estimates that the flu, since 2010, is responsible between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths each year in the United States. Preliminary data shows 34,157 and 61,000 people died from the flu in 2018-2019 and 2017-2018, respectively. Information on the flu can be found here.
The CDC website has up-to-date info on the Coronavirus. Click here for the website.