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Gardner Requests Funding to Address Coronavirus Outbreak

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) wrote to U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, expressing his concerns with 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and requesting that they work with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure robust funding for the outbreak response.

“At this point in time, China has reported over 20,000 confirmed infections and almost 500 fatalities. The outbreak has also extended to over 20 additional countries, including the United States, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed ‘person-to-person spread,’” wrote Senator Gardner. “HHS, through a number of its agencies, is actively leading critical prevention, containment, and supply chain stability efforts. We must serve as a collaborative partner and ensure that there is sufficient funding for both current and potential future efforts.”

The full letter is available here and below: 

Dear Chairman Shelby, Ranking Member Leahy, Chairman Blunt, and Ranking Member Murray,

I am writing to express concerns with 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and to request that the Senate Appropriations Committee, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee work with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure robust funding for the outbreak response. On February 2, 2020, HHS informed Congress of the potential need to shift $136 million from other funding streams to combat the growing public health threat. 

At this point in time, China has reported over 20,000 confirmed infections and almost 500 fatalities. The outbreak has also extended to over 20 additional countries, including the United States, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed “person-to-person spread.” In response to the outbreak, both the World Health Organization and the United States have declared Wuhan coronavirus a public health emergency.

HHS, through a number of its agencies, is actively leading critical prevention, containment, and supply chain stability efforts. We must serve as a collaborative partner and ensure that there is sufficient funding for both current and potential future efforts.  

I appreciate the Senate Appropriations Committee, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee’s attention towards this outbreak, and request proactive funding coordination to support HHS with both the federal and local public health response. 

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.

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