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McGovern, Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Urges White House to Support Commonwealth's Coronavirus Efforts

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Washington, March 11, 2020 | comments
Lawmakers Call on Pence to Take Specific Action to Support Massachusetts During COVID-19 Outbreak
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WASHINGTON — Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA-02) alongside members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, head of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus, urging him to take swift, specific action to support Massachusetts and other states as they combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Their request comes in the wake of Governor Baker declaring a state of emergency in the Commonwealth.

Yesterday, McGovern convened a conference call with over a dozen major health care providers throughout the Second Congressional District to listen to their concerns and make sure that federal, state, and local authorities are coordinating to get them the information, tools, and resources they need to respond to cases in Massachusetts.

“I am deeply concerned about our government’s response to this epidemic,” said Congressman McGovern. “As we continue to feel the effects of COVID-19, I will do everything I can to make sure we are protecting our communities, listening to our front-line health care providers, and responding swiftly and decisively to this crisis.”

"As the Task Force continues to respond to COVID-19's spread, it is essential that it supports and communicates with the state, local, and tribal governments providing on-the-ground responses to the virus," wrote the lawmakers in their letter.

In their letter, the delegation highlighted several steps the federal government could take to support Massachusetts during the outbreak, including:

  • Supporting the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's request for assets from the Strategic National Stockpile;
  • Taking all necessary steps to expand access to affordable COVID-19 diagnostic tests;
  • Continually monitoring the supplemental funding needs of Massachusetts public health officials and request supplemental funding from Congress as necessary; and
  • Considering the need for wraparound services for quarantined, sick, and other individuals affected by COVID-19.

"While our request is specific to Massachusetts, we believe that the Task Force should consider taking these actions in support of other states as well," the lawmakers continued.

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