Rep. Zeldin Update on Coronavirus | Congressman Lee Zeldin

Rep. Zeldin Update on Coronavirus

March 9, 2020
Press Release

PATCHOGUE, NY - Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) provided an update on the federal government’s continued response to the coronavirus outbreak. On March 8, 2020, the first positive case of coronavirus was confirmed in Suffolk County, New York.

“Over the last several weeks, I’ve been in constant contact with my colleagues in government to ensure this is a very robust, whole-government approach - at every level - to do all in our power to contain this threat as much as possible, and the federal government has continued to provide important assistance to the State of New York. Last week, it approved New York's request to carry out testing in state labs, and I look forward to continuing to work together as we ensure those who need it across the state have access to fast and accurate testing results,” said Congressman Zeldin. “This past weekend, the federal government delivered over 1 million tests across the country, including 23,000 tests to New York City’s Public Health Laboratory to the point where the lab was declining additional shipments. This is the type of bilateral cooperation that has continued with the federal government's approval of Northwell Health Labs for coronavirus testing. I will continue to work with those at every level of government to contain this virus as much as possible.”

Congressman Lee Zeldin urged the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite the approval for use of automated coronavirus testing, including at Northwell Health Labs. Automated testing would allow for Northwell Health Lab and other labs across the state to carry out a higher volume of coronavirus tests and increase testing availability.

Last week, Congress passed $7.8 billion in emergency funding for a robust response to the coronavirus outbreak, including support for state and local health agencies and vaccine and treatment development, and $490 million to temporarily expand Medicare telemedicine services to help ensure seniors' access to coronavirus treatment. 

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act includes: 

  • Over $4 billion to make diagnostic tests more broadly available, support treatments to ease the symptoms of those infected with the virus, and invest in vaccine development and procurements of vaccines when they become available; 
  • $2.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a robust response, including:
    • Nearly $1 billion exclusively for state and local response efforts; and
    • $300 million for CDC’s Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund to prevent, prepare for, and respond to diseases.
  • $20 million to administer disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by the virus;
  • $1.25 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to protect Americans abroad and prevent the spread of the virus worldwide, including:
  • $264 million to evacuate Americans and maintain consular operations overseas; and
  • $200 million for USAID’s Emergency Response Fund to prepare for and respond to emerging health threats.