On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director requesting information about the agency’s plan to combat the threat of the coronavirus and urging quick action to protect the health of American families. Scott called out China as a “global adversary” and pointed to “their general unwillingness to share information” and urged the CDC to take extra precautions against the spread of this deadly virus.
The letter is below:
January 22, 2020
Mr. Robert Redfield, MD
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30329
Dear Director Redfield:
I am extremely concerned about the coronavirus outbreak, which has already infected hundreds of individuals, including at least one in the United States, and has caused numerous deaths. The outbreak appeared in the city of Wuhan, China, which is home to more than 11 million people. As individuals from Wuhan travel around the country and internationally, we must all be on high alert.
I am particularly concerned because of China’s position as a global adversary and their general unwillingness to cooperate and share information with the United States and our allies. For example, while China can closely monitor the social media activities of every citizen in their country, they are somehow unable to locate and eliminate the sites producing fentanyl that is being sent into the United States to kill our citizens. Clearly, Communist China does not play straight with us.
The United States cannot risk an outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus. We cannot put our citizens at risk, and we must do everything we can to contain any cases. As the lead health agency charged with protecting Americans from health threats, both foreign and domestic, I ask that you please provide me with the following as soon as possible:
How did you become aware that the individual in the United States was infected?
Can you outline the steps you are taking to coordinate with state and local health authorities?
Do you have sufficient resources to control the spread of the coronavirus?
How does the federal government enforce screenings at ports of entry, and what is the criteria to screen an individual? How does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plan to achieve 100 percent screening of individual who have traveled to or from Wuhan? When will this be achieved?
How does the CDC ensure the information coming from China is accurate and up-to-date on the size and scope of their epidemic?
As a U.S. senator, it my duty to make sure the American people are protected and that the federal government is doing everything possible to ensure their safety. I look forward to your responses and the CDC’s swift action to combat the threat of the coronavirus.