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Schneider, Katko Advocate for COVID PREPARE Act

July 22, 2020 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Reps. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., and John Katko, R-N.Y., introduced bipartisan legislation to require federal executive branch agencies to report to Congress on their planning to address a potential resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the provisions of the COVID Preparedness, Response, and Effective Planning for Advanced Requirements by the Executive Branch (PREPARE) Act, the agencies would need to report on anticipated challenges, measurable goals for dealing with any resurgence that occurs, and how they expect to keep Congress informed throughout a renewed crisis.

“As the COVID pandemic continues to wreak havoc on American communities and take thousands of American lives, we need to be prepared that things might get even worse come fall,” Schneider said in a written statement.

“COVID PREPARE Act will provide bipartisan oversight and full transparency into both the planning and execution of our national response,” he said.

Katko said that with the recent proliferation of media reports that COVID-19 infections are spiking in several states, his constituents in central New York States are growing concerned about a potential second wave of the virus in communities that were hard hit the first time. 

“With our community still confronting the devastating impacts of COVID-19, we cannot in good faith move forward without learning from the missteps made by those overseeing the response effort,” Katko said.

“Central New Yorkers deserve assurance that the administration and Federal Government are fully prepared to prevent and respond to any widespread increases in COVID-19 cases,” he said, adding,While I remain focused on delivering relief to those impacted by the pandemic, I believe equally critical is our preparation and preparedness to effectively combat a resurgence of cases.”

According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, as of Wednesday morning, more than 3,900,000 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus, and at least 142,000 have died.

Since July 1, a total 41 states have seen a resurgence in their coronavirus numbers.

In light of these numbers, Schneider said, “We all certainly hope for the best, but we must responsibly prepare for the worst.” 

The full text of the bill can be found here.

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