Despite being designated as Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries like China, travelers returning from these countries are not being screened at airports
STATEN ISLAND, NY — March 7, 2020 — Following reports that passengers returning from Italy, South Korea, and Iran are not being screened at United States airports for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the same way travelers are from China, Congressman Max Rose yesterday called upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to immediately change the policy and expand airport screenings to cover all high-risk nations.
“I write today to urge you to immediately issue coronavirus guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to set the policy that all passengers coming to the United States from Italy, South Korea, Iran and any other high-risk nations should be screened at the airport as we are doing for those traveling from China,” wrote Rose in a letter to Dr. Robert R. Redfield, Director of the CDC. “These nations have already been designated as Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries along with China—yet unlike China, the CDC has not implemented airport screening for passengers returning from these countries. … It presents a significant risk to our community if travelers do not self-isolate or follow the other protocols that the CDC recommends. But without comprehensive screening and guidance by American personnel at our airports, many travelers may not know of this guidance.”
Rose, who previously urged Congressional leaders to quickly pass a coronavirus funding package, helped pass a bipartisan funding package which was signed into law by the President today to address the growing public health crisis that is coronavirus. The legislation provides $8.3 billion in new funding for a robust response to this public health emergency, including $950 million for state and local health agencies to conduct vital public health activities, including surveillance, laboratory testing, infection control, contact tracing, and mitigation.
Rose, who called on the Administration to declare a public health emergency in January, attended a bipartisan briefing this week in the White House Situation Room with Vice President Mike Pence, Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., and over a dozen Members of Congress to get briefed on and discuss the global spread, and potential impact, of the coronavirus. Last Friday, Rose and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo convened a meeting with federal, state, and local public health officials and local hospitals to discuss coronavirus preparedness and response to ensure Staten Island, South Brooklyn and all of New York City is prepared and fully supported in its response to the global public health epidemic.
Rose also called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish clear guidelines for state and local governments to receive reimbursement for costs incurred in their response efforts and on the Administration to not allow pharmaceutical companies to use taxpayer funded research to monopolize vaccine and treatment medicine.
In his continued efforts to responsibly address the coronavirus and mitigate unfounded fears, Rose has published a resource page on his website to share up-to-date information with constituents.
Full text of letter HERE.
SOURCE: Jonas Edwards-Jenks | Communications Director | Congressman Max Rose