WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement today on the $8.3 billion emergency supplemental funding bill to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):

“The bipartisan, bicameral agreement on an emergency funding package is an enormously important step in the response to the coronavirus and our ability to protect the public’s health.

“This new funding will support research and development of vaccines, procurement of medical supplies and medicines, and prevention, preparedness, and response activities. The package also makes significant funding available to state and local health agencies. Health workers across Washington, including from the Washington State Department of Health and Public Health – Seattle & King County, are working tirelessly to respond to the outbreak. This funding helps ensure those agencies have adequate resources to continue their lifesaving work.

“It is critical that everyone listens to the guidance of health experts on actions you can take to protect yourself and the community. Misinformation about coronavirus has led to discrimination and violence against Chinese Americans and those of Asian descent. This kind of misinformation based on fear and unfounded conspiracies is a danger to public health. I encourage anyone seeking information to follow recommendations from the CDC, the Washington State Department of Health, or their local health agency to best protect you, your family, and the community.

“I look forward to the Senate acting swiftly to pass this bill and send it to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Congress must continue to remain engaged to ensure the federal government takes the appropriate steps to respond to this outbreak. This includes doing everything in our power to support our state and local health agencies, public health organizations, and other health care entities on the front lines of the response.”