Coronavirus continues to spread internationally and domestically

SOPHE urges Congress to pass an emergency supplemental as soon as possible

Washington, D.C. – March 11, 2020 – The coronavirus has received significant public attention as it continues to spread domestically and globally. SOPHE wants to provide you with the most up-to-date information on the situation.

The virus was first detected in Wuhun City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. On January 30, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency. The next day, Health and Human Services Secretary Azar declared a public health emergency for the Unites States to aid the healthcare community to respond to the virus.

To date the virus has infected more than 105,586 people globally and killed more than 3,000. There are 938 reported cases in the United States and 29 confirmed deaths. Cases of the coronavirus were reported in California, Washington, Oregon, Rhode Island, New York, Florida, and Illinois.

On February 25, 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first domestic case of the coronavirus in a person who did not have relevant international travel history or exposure to another known patient. This is the first known case of community spread of the virus. Last week President Trump named Vice President Mike Pence as the coronavirus czar to coordinate the government’s response to a potential outbreak.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent the virus or approved antiviral drug to treat it. It is reported that the coronavirus has an estimated two percent mortality rate and is most dangerous to people over the age of 65 or people who have a compromised immune system. The CDC recommends taking everyday preventative actions and has issued several travel notices to prevent travelers from carrying the virus back to the United States.

While the administration has requested 2.5 billion to combat the coronavirus, SOPHE and other public health organizations has advised Congress that $8.5 billion is needed to provide adequate funding to combat the coronavirus. Prior infectious disease emergencies have been funded at similar levels. For example, in 2009 Congress provided $7.7 billion in emergency funds in response to the H1N1 outbreak and in 2014 Congress appropriated $5.4 billion in emergency funds for the Ebola response.

SOPHE is urging Congress to pass a robust emergency supplemental funding package this week.

SOPHE will keep you updated as actions unfold to protect Americans from the coronavirus.


Contact: Cicily Hampton, PhD, MPA or Eryn Greaney

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