Senate Health Committee announces hearing on U.S. coronavirus response

Senate Health Committee announces hearing on U.S. coronavirus response
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The Senate Health Committee on Wednesday announced a hearing on the U.S. response to the coronavirus spreading across China and other countries. 

The hearing will be March 3 and feature officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health, and Food and Drug Administration, the committee said. 

The hearing will focus on how to “prevent the potential spread of disease in the United States,” the committee said. 

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At the end of January, the Trump administration announced significant travel restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the virus, including requiring 14-day quarantines for U.S. citizens returning from China’s Hubei province and suspending entry into the U.S. by foreign nationals who have been in China in the last 14 days. 

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that there are more than 72,000 cases of the virus in China with 1,870 deaths. 

Outside China, there were 804 cases in 25 countries, with three deaths. 

“We continue to believe that the risk of exposure to COVID-19 to the general public in the United States is currently low,” the CDC said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will also hold a hearing with HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Feb. 26. The first section will focus on the department’s budget request, followed by a panel with Azar and other health officials discussing the coronavirus response.