RUSH TRANSCRIPT —
Senator Jones: Hey folks, I know there’s a lot of concern out there right now with the coronavirus and it is what appears to be a fairly rapid spread in Europe and in Asia. So we had a briefing this morning from a number of officials at the CDC, the NIH, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, there’s going to be a couple open hearings next week that I’ll participate in. The President has asked for about $2.5 billion to help do all the things necessary to both contain and mitigate that virus. I’m not sure that’s enough quite frankly based on what I’m hearing today, I think Congress is going to be looking at even more money that might be appropriated.
I think it’s really important that we take those necessary steps now to be very proactive so that when this virus comes in greater numbers in the United States, and it is likely to do that because of the spread throughout Europe and Asia and in other places, that we have the things in place necessary to contain this. Right now, we’re still in the containment mode, at some point we may have to move into a mitigation mode. That’s going to require resources, that’s going to require money, it may require facilities like the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama. We hope it doesn’t come to that, but it might be. That’s what we funded the CDP for. So we’ll see how it goes.
Right now, what I would urge people is just to be cautious, you know the flu is still spreading in Alabama. People need to make sure that they get their flu shots, to make sure that the influenza doesn’t spread any more than it has already because that’s also pretty dangerous in the United States. We’re going to be looking at this as it goes forward. If you’ve got any travel plans outside the country, look at the cautions that maybe the Department of State, the CDC and others. I think that’s the main thing right now, just education and vigilance is the watchword. And we will look and continue to monitor the situation here because our first and foremost priority is protecting Americans, and for me, protecting folks in Alabama. So there you go, thanks.
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