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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Facts, Not Fear

As you know, local, state, federal and international health organizations continue to respond to the threat posed by coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
We must have a robust and coordinated response to protect Americans from this virus. I believe the creation of a federal Coronavirus Task Force, which is a multi-agency response to COVID-19, is a positive step. I have and will continue to listen to local, state, and federal health officials and will support their efforts to protect Americans and contain the virus. I will not engage in petty partisan fights – which are all too common in Washington, D.C. these days – over this important health issue. 
 
Like any health emergency it’s important to get facts from trusted sources – rather than less reliable sources, such as social media. Below are some facts and resources that may be helpful for you and your family.
 
According to the latest update provided by the Riverside County Department of Public Health no individual with COVID-19 has been in Riverside County. The only recorded case of a Riverside County resident with COVID-19 was an individual repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. The individual has not traveled to Riverside County since leaving the cruise liner.
 
You are probably aware that Riverside County housed a repatriation flight of American citizens at March Air Reserve Base for the full 14-day quarantine period and released all 195 individuals on that flight on February 11. The March Air Reserve Base quarantine station closed on February 22 with no reports of COVID-19 in any travelers quarantined there.
 
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a list of steps you and your family can take to help prevent the spread of illnesses and exposure to this virus, which you can read here. The CDC also has a general information page about COVID-19, which you can find here.
 
If you and your family have international travel plans in the near future, you can find travel advisories and other information from the U.S. State Department here
 
Fact vs. Fiction

Fiction:
 
Funding for the CDC and National Institutes of Health was cut last year.
 
Fact:
 
With my support, Congress approved, and the President signed into law, legislation last December that increased CDC funding by $362 million and increased NIH funding by $2.6 billion. Congress also recently established and increased funding for an Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund.
 
Fiction:
 
Americans are at an immediate risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.
 
Fact:
 
The CDC has confirmed that COVID-19 is not currently spreading among communities in the United States. They have also confirmed that the individual risk of an American without relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19 contracting the disease is currently low. You can assess your individual risk here.

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