McConnell: Bipartisan coronavirus funding will support Kentucky and all 50 states

Coronavirus Watch

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on Monday on the Senate floor regarding the coronavirus:

Our nation is continuing to confront the public health challenge posed by the new coronavirus.

Right now, as Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health reminds us, the risk that any individual American will contract the disease currently remains low. This is not a time for fear. It is a time to continue calmly scaling up the serious and smart preparations that have already been underway, so the United States can continue working to blunt, slow, and mitigate the spread within our borders.

The most recent Global Health Security Index rated the United States the number-one overall most prepared country in the world for an infectious disease outbreak. Our resources, capabilities, and expertise are the envy of the world. And in this instance, the President’s early bold actions to impose travel restrictions and quarantine measures back in January bought our nation more time and more room to continue preparing.

With that said, there was never any illusion that our country of more than 300 million people and nearly 4 million square miles could be entirely sealed off from the world. The question was never if we would have to combat the coronavirus here on U.S. soil, but when, and to what degree.

As Dr. Fauci noted yesterday, we are now seeing instances of “community spread” within the United States, and the CDC has now confirmed nearly 500 cases on U.S. soil.

With respect to individual best practices and precautions, all Americans should follow the recommendations of the CDC and their state and local authorities. Detailed suggestions for different personal situations are available online at www.CDC.gov.

Officials in my home state of Kentucky are currently monitoring four confirmed cases. I spoke to the Governor this morning and will continue to stay in close touch to make sure that Kentucky — and all 50 states — have what they need and know Congress has their back.

Last week, the Senate passed nearly $8 billion in supplemental funding which President Trump signed into law. It will deliver surge resources to national public health experts, front-line healthcare professionals, and state and local governments as they work together to protect Americans. That legislation ensured a funding floor of at least $7 million will go to Kentucky to help fight the virus.

In addition, I want to recognize and thank our colleague the junior senator from Texas. Ten days ago, he briefly interacted with an individual who has since tested positive for the virus. Even though he feels fine and it has already been 10 days, after consulting with experts, Senator Cruz elected to work from home this week out of an abundance of caution.

We’ll certainly miss our colleague around the Capitol this week but I want to commend him for taking the initiative.

So here’s the bottom line. Our great nation is very strong. We have enormous expertise and tremendous capabilities. And Congress, on a bipartisan basis, has made sure our health experts and leaders have the funding they need.

With calm and confidence, all Americans — all of us — should continue to listen to the experts, take their advice, and take common-sense steps to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.

The link that McConnell mentions in his press release can be accessed by clicking here.

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(This story was originally published on March 10, 2020)

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