Greg Walden Statement on Coronavirus

January 30, 2020
Press Release

Representative Greg Walden (R—Hood River), Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee, helped lead a Congressional briefing for Members of Congress on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus earlier this week.

“What we know so far is that there are six cases of the Novel Coronavirus in the U.S., with only one case of human-to-human transmission,” said Walden. “However, there are nearly 8,000 cases in 31 provinces in China and sustained human-to-human transmission is occurring there. At this time, the CDC’s assessment remains that the immediate risk to the American public is low. The situation is rapidly changing, but I am receiving updates daily and will continue to share relevant information as it’s made available.” 

As of January 30, 2020, no cases have been identified in Oregon. However, there are six cases in the U.S., including one in neighboring Washington as well as Arizona, and two in both California and Illinois. Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak is now a public health emergency of international concern.

Currently, in the United States, the greater health concern is from the flu. In December, at an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the nation’s preparedness for the flu season, Walden urged Americans to get their flu shot. 

“In addition to the threat of the Novel Coronavirus, let us not forget that more than 8,000 Americans have already died from the flu this year,” Walden cautioned. “Get your flu shot now.” 

The population most at risk for flu-related complications are senior citizens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who are 65 years and older accounted for about 70 to 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths in recent years and between 50 to 70 percent of seasonal-flu related hospitalizations. 

Learn more about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus here.  

Find out where you can get your flu shot here. 

Veterans can receive free flu vaccines from all Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Medical Centers and community-based outpatient clinics, learn more here.