Responding to Coronavirus

House Democrats are working to protect the health and economic security of all Americans. [Photo: Congressional leaders sign the CARES Act.]
House Democrats are working to address the public health emergency created by the outbreak of a new coronavirus, named COVID-19. On March 4th, Congress passed $8.3 billion in emergency funds to provide funding for prevention, preparedness, and response efforts; for the development of treatments and a vaccine; and for low-interest SBA loans to support small businesses that have been affected. On March 18th, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law. This legislation works to address the economic impacts being felt by Americans; it ensures that testing for coronavirus is free, provides for emergency paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave, ensures the availability of unemployment insurance, and secures access to nutrition for children, seniors, and low-income families. On March 27th, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide further economic assistance to families facing lost income and industry sectors whose employees are bearing the brunt of this public health crisis. Work is continuing on additional legislation to respond to this pandemic.  

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has prepared a list of frequently asked questions and resources on the coronavirus, which you can find here.
The Centers for Disease Control has information on the coronavirus that you can find here. The CDC has issued the following guidance on preventing the spread of the coronavirus: “There is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
  Hoyer signing Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.”
Coronavirus Related
The Inspector General’s report is a damning indictment of the Trump Administration’s failure to do its job and assist states where the coronavirus pandemic is pushing the capacity of health care systems to their limits. The President and his Administration must take whatever steps are necessary to deliver urgent medical equipment and supplies, particularly masks and ventilators, needed to protect and save lives.
The report today by the Committee on Oversight and Reform is alarming, indicating that the Trump Administration continues to fail in its responsibility to provide critical supplies to states fighting the spread of coronavirus. We already know that the White House delayed taking action for weeks as the virus spread.
Mr. Speaker, we meet at a challenging time in our country and in the global community. This session will be different than most where we come together, we reach out our hands, we hug one another in affection and thanks for their collegial work with us on the people's business. People who can see the chamber now will see that we are keeping a distance from one another – not out of hostility, but out of love for one another that we may keep one another healthy and safe. It will, therefore, be an unusual session, but a critical session.
America and all our people face an unprecedented crisis and challenge. It is essential that we respond robustly, quickly, and effectively.  I am encouraged that the Senate, working with House leadership and relevant House committees, has reached a bipartisan agreement.
Ten years ago, Democrats fought hard to reform a deeply broken health care system. Refusing to accept a reality in which tens of millions of Americans had to go without insurance or were routinely dropped from their coverage as soon as they became sick, we enacted major legislation to ensure that quality, affordable health care would be accessible to all Americans, regardless of their income.
In light of the guidance issued by the CDC, we will be adjusting the House schedule. It is my intention that the House will not return to session until we are in a position to vote on the third piece of emergency legislation to respond to the economic impact of this crisis...
Following passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in the United States Senate, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) signed the enrolled bill to send to the President for his signature.
Last week, the House passed an $8.3 billion emergency funding bill to help communities, states, and federal agencies respond to the coronavirus.
Nobody worked harder than the Speaker. The Speaker, as you know, you’ve been walking around… I’ve been on the phone with the Speaker a lot of times. We haven’t counted. She and Secretary Mnuchin, obviously, have worked very hard to come to this agreement.
Our nation is facing a public health crisis that will require a coordinated, comprehensive, and fully-funded response from the federal government, and I am committed to ensuring that Congress does its part.
The President’s emergency declaration, which makes critical federal resources available to states and local governments, is long overdue.  
Tonight, the President finally did what he should have done weeks ago: take this crisis seriously and address the nation about his Administration's strategy to deal with coronavirus. While he still failed to confront the hard truths of this challenge or answer important questions - including why officials still do not have enough testing kits and how he is going to address that shortage - President Trump at last shared steps he intends to take in the days and weeks ahead. 
This week, House Democrats moved swiftly to pass an $8.3 billion funding bill to ensure federal agencies, states, and localities have the resources necessary to respond to the coronavirus.
Today, I will bring to the House Floor a supplemental appropriations bill that will allocate $8.3 billion to help states, communities, and federal agencies combat the new coronavirus.