With the impending news that the Coronavirus is already affecting multiple Americans domestically, Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) made the call today that the Federal Government should designate it as a public health emergency.
By declaring it a public health emergency, Rep. Buchanan expressed that it would allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use millions of dollars in federal funding to adequately and effectively combat the outbreak.
In his statement, Buchanan commented that “speed is essential in dealing with infectious diseases that threaten all Americans.” In turn, “taking precaution now could save lives later.” So, “that’s why I’m calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to formally declare a public health emergency so our government can respond quickly to contain the threat.”
If the emergency is declared, up to $85 million from the CDC’s Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund could be used for the country’s top disease fighters with resources and the flexibility to respond immediately to the growing concern.
Elaborating on this, Rep. Buchanan explained that “too much about this outbreak is unknown, and it’s especially troubling to learn that the virus could be transmitted by an infected person even before symptoms appear.”
The most recent case was reported in Chicago.