Lawmaker: US has had worst response to COVID-19 pandemic worldwide

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield warned lawmakers Thursday that the coronavirus is no less contagious now than it was a few months ago.

He said he shares their concerns about the ongoing spread of the virus as states continue to gradually reopen.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, said the health and safety of Americans has not been a top federal priority, especially since the focus has shifted to restarting the economy.

“Over 20,000 new cases, over 1,000 deaths, we do not have the testing, tracing resources that we need to prevent more deaths, DeLauro said.

DeLauro said the federal response has been inconsistent at best.

“The U.S. has had the worst response to coronavirus of any country in the world,” she said.

Rep. Tom Cole argues that the United States is no worse off than other nations.

“In America we always tend to think we’re either the best or worst at everything,” Cole said.

Cole asked Redfield how the country can better prepare for future pandemics, but Redfield said they need to spend money now to save lives

“You think we weren’t prepared for this, wait until we have a real global threat for our health security,” Redfield said.

Redfield said reliable data is critical to any disease response. He urged Congress to spend money to bring the nation’s public health computer systems into the 21st century.

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