(Washington, DC) – Lawmakers are pressing CDC Director Robert Redfield about the growing coronavirus threat.
During a House hearing, Connecticut Democrat Rosa DeLauro stressed that it is a real and growing crisis. She argued that the U.S. is behind the curve on the availability and distribution of coronavirus test kits. Redfield said health officials are working hard to push accurate tests out as quickly as possible. He cited a government “regulatory process” that had to be navigated.
Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole said a “deadly new disease is just a plane ride away.” He noted that there is a long road ahead with many unknowns.
New York Democrat Nita Lowey called the coronavirus crisis an emergency and criticized the Trump administration’s response.
Meantime, California Democrat Barbara Lee noted that store shelves have been stripped of hand sanitizer and said many people need it if they can’t get to a source of hot water and soap. Redfield said he could not address shortages in the consumer supply chain but he vowed to look into it.
The number of deaths in the United States from the coronavirus is topping 100. West Virginia reported its first case of the virus making the total number of cases in the U.S. is just over 58-hundred. A large majority are being reported in New York and Washington state. Cases have now been confirmed in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Illinois reported its first death today as a result of the virus, joining 18 total states. Nearly 85-percent of those who have died were older than 60 and about 45-percent were older than 80. Of the first 100 reported fatalities, many people appear to have had underlying health conditions including diabetes and kidney disease.