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Congressman Smith – A Time for Clarity

Congressman Jason Smith

Since the coronavirus outbreak began in China, misleading information has swirled in the media. Data and statistics have been shared without any context; rumors and speculation have been presented as absolute truths. The New York Times has already labeled it the “TrumpVirus.” When the Left’s hatred of the President is more important to them than letting clear and straightforward facts get to the American people, panic creeps in and everyone is hurt. To set some of the false claims straight, President Donald Trump addressed the American people from the White House Briefing Room on Wednesday night, and the fact is our nation is prepared for situations like this and the Trump Administration is well equipped to respond. 

From the start, information was slow and unclear out of China. The Chinese communist government has a stranglehold over all the news and information inside the country, which makes it nearly impossible to get an accurate assessment of the virus. China finally alerted the World Health Organization in December that there were several cases of an unusual pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, a port city home to over 11 million people. Yet, the full picture of the virus did not come into focus until recently, when it was no longer possible for the communist regime to censor all of the information around the outbreak. China’s deception allowed the virus to spread. Currently, there are more than 83,000 confirmed cases in over 50 countries, including Japan, North Korea, Iran, Italy, France, Britain, Canada, and the United States. 

Despite China’s attempts to conceal the truth and the left attacking him for being un-American, President Trump did not hesitate to take strong action. He closed our borders to all non-Americans who had recently traveled to China and put a quarantine into effect on Americans infected with the virus. These actions were critical to slowing the virus from spreading within the United States, and, more importantly, it provided us with a crucial advantage: time. Of course, the Left immediately ranted and raved when the President carried out these actions. They name called and said horrible things about him. However, had he not acted when he did, the United States would be in a much worse position than we are now. Instead, while other countries are experiencing the result of government inaction, the United States is prepared. Not only because of the President’s quick thinking but because contrary to what the fake media is reporting, the Republican majority of previous Congresses put programs in place that plan for situations just like this.  

Under President Trump’s leadership, Republicans are committed to making our country safer from all kinds of threats. That is why I voted for the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act, that President Trump signed into law last year. The bill created several programs and entities relating to public-health emergency preparedness and response. Specifically, it required the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to plan and prepare for emergency situations, including the outbreak of a virus. Additionally, over the past five years, Republicans in Congress have continually made smart and responsible investments to both the CDC and NIH, including a 5% increase every year for the NIH. Also, let’s not forget that because our health system encourages research and promotes innovation, our doctors and health care experts are truly the greatest in the world. It is times like this that you see the drastically different view that the Left has of our health care system. They continue to push burdensome legislation that would undermine our advantage and stifle medical innovation in America. In fact, Speaker Pelosi recently passed legislation that, if it ever became law, would result in as many as 100 fewer cures coming to market over the next decade. That is one-third of the cures expected to be developed during that same time frame. Fewer cures means fewer medical tools to prevent viruses like this from spreading. In short, their government-run health care plan would leave our country in a weaker and more vulnerable position. 

As this situation develops, please know the health and safety of folks in Missouri is my top priority. The President has faithfully carried out his responsibility and is calling on Congress for additional resources. Instead of using this as another opportunity to attack the President, House Democrats should be working with him in good faith to approve his request for additional resources. This support will ensure that federal agencies tasked with handling these emergencies are correctly prepared, staffed, and equipped. It will speed up research of a vaccine to prevent the virus from spreading and treatments for those who contract it. I hope the Left will join us and make it a bipartisan effort to protect the American people, especially since that is what they are claiming to do on TV.