WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) announced that he, along with co-chairs Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) and Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-36), will chair the Bipartisan Congressional Coronavirus Task Force. This task force will marshal the collective experience and expertise of Members of Congress and Congressional Committees to produce an action plan and provide input into health policy and legislative efforts, be a vehicle for receiving and disseminating information on a regular basis to the entire Congress and the general public, to advocate for needed resources, and to compel the Administration to act promptly on all matters related to combatting the coronavirus.
“It is incredibly important that Congress and the American public stay up to date on all the facts relating to Coronavirus. We must provide the public with all available information to provide a full picture of how this has affected other countries, as well as our own,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick (PA-01). “As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I know that a global crisis can quickly reach our borders, and we must have every resource available to properly respond. I thank Congresswoman Jackson Lee and Congressman Ruiz for partnering with me on this task force, and I look forward to working with them in a bipartisan manner to protect all Americans.”
“This is not a time for panic, but rather a time for preparation based on facts. We must be certain to utilize all information and federal resources available to ensure that efforts to stem the spread of this virus is successful. This task force will monitor all federal efforts to contain, treat and develop drugs necessary to stop the virus,” stated Congresswoman Jackson Lee (TX-18).
“I am looking forward to bringing my experience as an emergency physician trained in humanitarian and disaster aid to the Congressional Coronavirus Task Force,” said Dr. Ruiz (CA-36). “We must prepare for the worst and work for the best. Establishing the Coronavirus Task Force is important as our nation addresses the spread of this disease and works to keep Americans safe and healthy.”
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a public health emergency from the outbreak of the Coronavirus. This virus continues to infect populations around the world and causing a decline in the world’s financial markets.
The task force will enable Members who serve on Committees of jurisdiction surrounding this issue to provide a credible and effective response on matters that must be addressed immediately, to find common ground for solutions that address the needs of federal, state, and local public health and disaster response agencies, and address the quarantine challenge in rural communities and densely populated areas.