WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) reacted to the emergency supplemental funding package for the coronavirus.
“This is good news—it signals to the American people that in uncertain times, Congress can still come together for the good of the country and the health needs of our citizens. I’m glad Democrats paused their political agenda to give our public health agencies and providers what they need. It is our local health authorities and public safety officials who form the front lines during outbreaks. I have a simple message for those officials, for my fellow Oregonians, and for the American people: we’re in this together and your government is with you,” said Walden.
The package also includes a bipartisan provision championed by Mr. Walden that would allow the home to be an originating site for purposes of telehealth during this public health emergency, allowing more patients to get the care they need at home to avoid potentially overcrowded health care facilities especially in rural areas.
Mr. Walden recently joined House Republican leaders to discuss the federal government’s response to the coronavirus. Watch here. He’s also remained accessible to the public in Oregon—holding a townhall in Josephine County, organizing a roundtable with local health officials in Jackson County, and holding a press conference with Oregon media. He will return to Oregon this Friday to meet with local officials in Umatilla County, where the Oregon Health Authority just confirmed one case of the coronavirus.
Background on the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act
The House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Reps. Susan Brooks and Anna Eshoo, worked diligently to modernize the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, or PAHPA. On June 24, 2019, President Trump signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPAIA) into law. This law sets up the framework to deal precisely with this type of an outbreak. PAHPAIA accelerates advanced research, development, federal purchasing of medical countermeasures—like treatments or vaccines—and stands up programs to expand the capacity of our health facilities. It also:
- Reauthorizes our nation’s public health preparedness and response programs.
- Bolsters the nation’s health security strategy, strengthens the country’s emergency response workforce, helps coordinate multiple health entities, and accelerates the advanced research, development, and federal purchasing of medical countermeasures.