March 13, 2020
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following statement after President Trump declared a national emergency. This declaration would provide federal assistance and support to states for research and development of vaccinations, screening, treatment and other needs associated with the coronavirus. It would also waive certain regulations to provide greater flexibility for local response efforts. Additionally, the president is waiving government-issued student loan interest providing relief to over 42 million Americans and urging the Secretary of Energy to purchase more crude oil, promoting our energy independence.
“President Trump is right to declare a national emergency to open up additional resources to respond to the coronavirus,” Inhofe said. “The president’s national emergency declaration today will more rapidly ensure we have enough resources for research and development of vaccinations, screening, treatment and other needs. This funding builds on the emergency funding package we passed in the Senate last week and helps us limit the spread further.
“I also want to thank state and local officials for their continued efforts to protect all Oklahomans. The president’s declaration makes it clear—our state and local communities are the front lines in preventing the spread of the virus and I encourage everyone to continue to follow local guidance. I especially want to thank Governor Stitt for his continued leadership. Health care professionals in Oklahoma and across the U.S. government are hard at work treating individuals who have the virus and are working to limit its spread to others.
“The funding we approved last week prioritizes procuring and distributing testing kits around the country. I appreciate that President Trump, Vice President Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force have made that a priority and are continuing to work as fast as possible to approve testing kits and facilities, but clearly more must be done, and faster. I am encouraged that the president has been working with the private sector to expedite creation and distribution of tests. My office is in constant communication with Governor Stitt’s office and his administration, and we continue to monitor the coronavirus and work to ensure Oklahoma has sufficient resources.
“While there is no reason to panic, the most important thing to remember is to take the right precautions. Wash your hands often, cover your cough and, if you’re sick, call your healthcare provider first to describe symptoms and seek their guidance on treatment.”
Inhofe voted in favor of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which passed the Senate last week. To date, Oklahoma received $6.9 million from the CDC as a result of this legislation.
Inhofe also released a video message last week, highlighting steps families can take to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Watch here.