Dear Colleague on Our Strategic, Science-Based Plan to Crush the Virus in the Heroes Act
Dear Democratic Colleague,
Sadly and tragically, as we pray for President’s recovery from the coronavirus, our hearts are broken for the more than 212,000 Americans who have died and the more than 7.6 million who have been infected. Overnight, another 56,000 were reported infected. Yet the President irresponsibly still refuses to engage in mask wearing and social distancing.
This week, when President Trump walked away from the coronavirus relief negotiations, he walked away from a strategic plan to crush the virus – showcasing his deadly contempt for science, for governance and for the health and lives of the American people.
The simple truth is that we cannot safely reopen schools, the economy and our communities until we crush the virus. That is why our legislation has focused on testing, testing, testing, starting with our first bill passed March 4 and continuing with the Heroes Act passed nearly five months ago. Under the leadership of Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, the Heroes Act set out a strong, science-based national testing, tracing and isolation strategy that scientists tell us is needed to defeat the virus – with special attention to addressing the disparities faced by communities of color who are disproportionately bearing the suffering of coronavirus.
- Testing – developing new technologies and paying for tests to reach all communities in our country.
- Contact Tracing – funding CDC, state and local workforces to trace contacts and identify and contain super-spread events.
- Supported Isolation – housing and food for people who need to isolate or quarantine to keep their families and communities safe.
- Outbreak Surveillance & Reporting – with special emphasis on collecting data on how communities of color are being affected.
- Safe, Effective Development & Distribution of Vaccines – FDA must be allowed to fulfill its mission to protect public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy and trust of any future COVID-19 vaccine. We must be preparing now for ethical and equitable distribution to reach the highest priority populations first and remove cost as a barrier.
Yet, clearly and sadly, the Administration does not share this priority of crushing the virus. The President does not have the capacity, leadership or plan for testing, tracing, and isolation that is needed. Instead, Trump’s delay, denial, distortion of reality and disdain for science has exacted a deadly and preventable human toll.
The American people need to have confidence that there is a plan to crush the coronavirus. Democrats will continue to lift up the science-based plan in the Heroes Act which will save lives. Attached is a fact sheet from the Energy and Commerce Committee about our work to support a safe and effective vaccine.
Thank you for your leadership to save lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy.