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Cole Statement on Vice President Pence Leading U.S Coronavirus Response

February 27, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President Donald Trump announced that Vice President Mike Pence will lead the federal government’s multi-agency response to COVID-19, the strain of coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China. Cole is the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“President Trump made an excellent choice and smart decision in appointing Vice President Pence as the point person on the unfolding situation with the coronavirus,” said Cole. “The vice president clearly has the trust and confidence of the president in directing the multi-agency effort to contain and stop spread of the disease.

“As my good friend and former colleague, I am particularly pleased to see Vice President Pence serve in this position. I am confident that he will lead with professionalism, energy and transparency. I look forward to working with him as we marshal the needed resources for dealing with COVID-19.”

Yesterday, during a subcommittee hearing with HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Cole made remarks about the U.S response to coronavirus thus far, which has been swift and decisive since day one because Congress began preparing for public health emergencies like coronavirus five years ago. That congressional foresight included shaping policies and prioritizing investment in disease readiness. Watch Cole’s hearing remarks from yesterday here.

In addition, Cole penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on the importance of investing in infectious disease response readiness and how Congress did just that long before the coronavirus. Read the op-ed published on January 31 here