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Timeline

The timeline of events below summarizes the federal government’s response to COVID-19, focusing on actions taken by Congress and the Trump Administration. This page will be updated regularly with the latest information. 

  • December 31, 2019 – The World Health Organization (WHO) China Country Office is informed of cases of pneumonia with unknown causes detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. By January 3, there are 44 such patients reported to WHO by national authorities in China.
  • January 7, 2020 – Chinese authorities reveal isolation of a new strain of coronavirus: 2019-nCoV (which causes COVID-19).
  • January 11-12, 2020 – WHO receives further detailed information from the National Health Commission China that the outbreak is connected to one seafood market in Wuhan City.
  • January 20, 2020 – 282 confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported by four countries (including China, Thailand, Japan and South Korea).
  • January 24, 2020 – First case of COVID-19 is confirmed in the United States. See the WHO’s situation report here.
  • January 25, 2020 – Second case of COVID-19 is confirmed in the United States, triggering the need for public health defenders to draw from and use the Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund.
    • During my tenure as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for funding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), I proposed creation of this emergency fund – to be used for quickly responding to a future or imminent infectious disease crisis that endangers American lives. The fund was ultimately initiated in fiscal year 2019 and the ability for unspent funding to accumulate over time. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had immediate access to more than $100 million in this reserve. Read my statement here.
    • On January 31, I penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal about the congressional foresight and bipartisan wisdom of creating this emergency fund. Read the op-ed here.
    • Several weeks later, I explained some of the other reasons why, according to an index published by Johns Hopkins University, the United States is considered best prepared in the world to face a public health crisis. Read that column here.
  • January 29, 2020 – President Trump announces the establishment of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, to be made up of several federal government officials. Read more about the Task Force here.
  • January 31, 2020 – President Trump suspends U.S. entry of visitors from China and mandates quarantines for those allowed to enter who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Read his proclamation here.
  • January 31, 2020 – HHS Secretary Azar declares public health emergency in response to COVID-19. Read his statement here.
  • February 4, 2020 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants its first Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a CDC-developed COVID-19 diagnostic test. Read more here.
  • February 24, 2020 – President Trump requests emergency funding package, demonstrating the need for supplemental funding for the federal government’s response to COVID-19.
  • February 26, 2020 – President Trump appoints Vice President Pence to oversee the federal government’s multi-agency response to COVID-19. Read my statement following this appointment here.
  • February 27, 2020 – Vice President Pence appoints Dr. Deborah Birx to serve as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator. Read Vice President Pence’s statement on the appointment here.
  • March 4, 2020 – The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, delivering $8.3 billion in emergency funding for the nation’s ongoing preparation for, prevention of and response to COVID-19. Read my statement of support here.
  • March 6, 2020 – Following the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, President Trump signs the $8.3 billion package into law. Read President Trump’s remarks upon signing here and read the final bill text here.
  • March 10, 2020 – Secretary Perdue of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces proactive flexibilities to allow meal service during school closures to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19. Learn more here.
  • March 11, 2020 – President Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office and announces new travel restrictions, banning European visitors from entry into the United States. Read full remarks here and my statement following the address here.
  • March 12, 2020 – The FDA grants its first EUA for a commercially-developed COVID-19 diagnostic test. Read more here.
  • March 13, 2020 – President Trump sends letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Wolf, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, HHS Secretary Azar and FEMA Administrator Gaynor regarding his determination that COVID-19 warrants an emergency under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act). Read the letter here.
  • March 13, 2020 – President Trump declares a national state of emergency. Read the official declaration here.
  • March 14, 2020 – The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Read my statement of support here.
  • March 14, 2020 – The USDA grants the Oklahoma Department of Education’s request to continue meal service for students while Oklahoma schools are closed.
  • March 15, 2020 – Oklahoma Governor Stitt declares state of emergency. Read the official declaration here.
  • March 16, 2020 – Per a presidential memorandum issued by President Trump, the FDA implements its new Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019. This policy enacts key changes in the EUA approval process to speed development and deployment of diagnostic tests. Read the memo here.
  • March 16, 2020 – President Trump issues guidelines for all Americans to help slow the spread. Read that guidance here.
  • March 18, 2020 – Following the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, President Trump signs it into law. Read President Trump’s statement after signing here and read the final bill text here.
  • March 20, 2020 – The FDA grants an EUA for the first rapid COVID-19 diagnostic test, which provides results in 45 minutes.
  • March 26, 2020 – The U.S. Senate passes the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Read my statement on the Senate’s vote here.
  • March 27, 2020 – The U.S. House of Representatives passes and President Trump signs into law the CARES Act, delivering historic economic relief to hardworking Americans, families, communities, small businesses and numerous industries that have been hit hard and fast by COVID-19. Read my statement following passage in the U.S. House of Representatives here and the final bill text here. You can also read my column on the third relief package here.
  • March 27, 2020 – The FDA grants an EUA for a rapid COVID-19 diagnostic able to provide results in 5 minutes. Read more here.
  • March 31, 2020 – President Trump extends the nation’s Slow the Spread campaign until April 30, 2020. Latest guidance available here.
  • April 2, 2020 – President Trump invokes the Defense Production Act to increase ventilator production. The order directs the supply of materials to make ventilators to six companies. Presidential memorandum can be found here.
  • April 3, 2020 – The Small Business Administration (SBA) begins accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program, which allows small businesses to receive forgivable SBA loans if they maintain their workforce. For more guidance on this program and other resources available to small businesses from the SBA, click here.
  • April 5, 2020 – President Trump approves Oklahoma's disaster declaration, releasing urgent federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by COVID-19. Read the official declaration here
  • April 10, 2020 – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sends out the first installment of CARES Act funding for health care providers fighting COVID-19, including $489 million for 4,125 health care systems and providers in Oklahoma. Read more from HHS here