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Senator Collins Urges Administration to Strengthen Response to Coronavirus

Click HERE to read Senator Collins’ letter

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins sent a letter to President Donald Trump, calling on his Administration to bolster its efforts to defend against the public health threat posed by the coronavirus.

“As the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, continues to spread abroad, I write today to urge the Administration to take strong actions to protect the health of Americans here at home,” said Senator Collins in her letter.  “While I applaud the Administration for prompt containment efforts, notably restricting travel from China and invoking quarantine authorities for the first time in over 50 years, we must continue to prioritize response and preparedness efforts to protect Americans, particularly as the strategy expands not only to focus on containment but also mitigation.”

Senator Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, is working with her colleagues to quickly pass a supplemental funding bill to support the government’s response to the coronavirus. 

“While I am confident there will be bipartisan support in Congress to promptly devote the financial resources needed to meet this challenge, it is essential that there be a clear understanding of the specific funding needs if we are going to be able to unite, avoid partisanship, and give public health agencies the proper tools they need to respond,” Senator Collins wrote.  “As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I stand ready to advocate for the level of resources needed to respond to coronavirus and protect public health.”

“I stress the immediate need from the Administration for timely and accurate communication with the public,” Senator Collins continued.  “I understand many uncertainties about the virus remain, but we know it is a serious threat that has the ability to spread easily and can be deadly.  There have been inconsistencies in Administration answers this week to questions concerning the response to this outbreak, including identifying threat levels and forecasts about vaccine development.  As Vice President Pence begins to oversee the federal coronavirus response, I reiterate the need for effective coordination and leadership across all agencies and departments.”

Senator Collins, the Chairman of the Aging Committee, also urged the Administration to consider the unique health needs of older adults in all aspects of the domestic response, from hospital preparedness to the impact of drug shortages to vaccine development. 

This week, Senator Collins met with Dr. Nirav Shah, the Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in her Washington, D.C., office to discuss Maine and the federal government’s ongoing response and preparedness for the coronavirus.

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