We must be prepared for the coronavirus. The Trump administration is not.

February 28, 2020

We are facing the threat of a dangerous pandemic. Trump dismisses it as nothing to be concerned about. 

This week, Trump passed his responsibility to address the coronavirus threat to Mike Pence, whose handling of the HIV crisis that hit Indiana while he was governor proved to be woefully inadequate. He often implored people to "pray it away."

A nationwide public health emergency is nothing to take lightly, and I'm not convinced the Trump administration is up to the task. 

In our Ways and Means Hearing on 2021 Department and Health and Human Services budget proposals, I pressed HHS Secretary Alex Azar on why he thought it was appropriate to slash the very programs designed to address public health threats of this magnitude. Needless to say: he didn't have an answer. 

As some of the first reported coronavirus outbreaks in the U.S. have touched our neighbors in Northern California, it should remind us that this must be taken seriously, by serious people. We must dedicate the resources necessary to keep Americans safe. 

Trump can pretend he has all the answers, but it's clear he and his cronies do not. We need to listen to the experts, fund evidence-based research for prevention and care, and treat this public health crisis for what it is. In Congress, we will take the Trump administration to task to ensure we're doing everything possible to fight this deadly virus.