Chair DeLauro Statement at CDC Member Roundtable on COVID-19

2021-02-23 11:51

House Appropriations Committee Chair and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's CDC Member Roundtable on COVID-19:

I will note that one year ago, February 10, 2020, this Subcommittee held a Member briefing with Dr. Messonnier, Dr. Fauci, and HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dr. Kadlec —just as our nation was in the early stage of the COVID outbreak. Here we are, one year later, holding this discussion remotely, as our daily lives have been significantly changed due to COVID, just as, I might add, Dr. Messonnier rightly forecasted. Dr. Messonnier, welcome back. Your voice has been missed for many, many months.

For the past year, we have simultaneously been struggling to combat a public health emergency and an economic one. Tragically, COVID-19 has taken the lives of over 500,000 Americans during that time. We must continue to do everything in our power to defeat this virus.

Throughout the course of the past year, thousands of dedicated CDC career staff have worked tirelessly to confront this pandemic and continue to do so. I am grateful to each of them.

I will just take a moment to introduce Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Dr. Anne Schuchat, and Dr. Nancy Messonnier. Dr. Walensky was sworn-in as CDC Director on January 20, just one month ago, and we’re so pleased that she is a part of the White House team providing regular COVID response briefings. Prior to her current role, Dr. Walensky served as Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and is an internationally‑recognized expert on infectious diseases. Dr. Schuchat first joined the CDC in 1988 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and has been CDC’s Principal Deputy Director since 2015.  And Dr. Nancy Messonnier also began at CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in 1995 and is now the Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

We very much really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today. We look forward to hearing an update on the pandemic and CDC’s ongoing efforts to crush the virus, to save lives, and to help the country resume everyday activities.

117th Congress