Washington state is at the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak, or COVID-19, in the United States, with 39 confirmed cases statewide, including 10 fatalities as of this writing. Fortunately, there are currently no confirmed cases in Central Washington, but the most important thing you can do is stay informed and be prepared.

Tomorrow, Vice President Pence will travel to Olympia to meet with Governor Inslee to ensure our state has the federal support we need to prevent the spread of this virus. The Vice President was appointed by President Trump to lead the Coronavirus Task Force.

A key mission of the Task Force is to support state and local responses to the outbreak like those in Washington state. The legislation provides critical resources for state and local health departments, and it expedites vaccine development. This bill does not contain any partisan policy riders and hopefully it will ensure the state reacts swiftly and appropriately to this disease outbreak.

Local health professionals and government officials are working to protect you and your family. In fact, the world-class scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are conducting critical research to develop methods to prepare for and respond to infectious diseases and threats like COVID-19.

The House voted to provide $7.8 billion in emergency response funding to address the virus at home and abroad.