Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Raul Ruiz (D-CA) have been selected to head up the new Bipartisan Congressional Coronavirus Task Force.

The task force will marshal the experience and expertise of Congress members and committee leaders to develop an action plan for legislative efforts concerning the coronavirus. The task force will be a vehicle for receiving and disseminating information to Congress and the general public and advocate for needed resources. The task force will also work to compel the Trump Administration to act promptly on 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,” Fitzpatrick said. “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.”

The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency on Jan. 20.

“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,” Jackson Lee said.

Ruiz, a former emergency physician, is trained in humanitarian and disaster aid.

“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,” Ruiz said.

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