Rosen Presses DHS On FEMA’s Role During Coronavirus Outbreak, Asks for Assurances that Immigrant Communities Can Seek Care Without Intimidation

View Senator Rosen’s Full Remarks Here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) questioned Department of Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli on what steps the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can take to provide relief should the coronavirus outbreak worsen. Senator Rosen also questioned Mr. Cuccinelli on whether immigrant communities will be able to seek medical care during the coronavirus outbreak without intimidation:
“If larger quarantine measures are needed and medically justified, what plans are in place to provide relief to those Americans who may miss work due to a government-imposed quarantine, but not necessarily their own illness?” Senator Rosen began. “Many folks live paycheck-to-paycheck, the loss of a few days of work can be a major hardship, much less staying home for a few weeks. This could lead to people losing their homes or not being able to afford food and other essentials.
“If we have disaster-like situations on the ground, what can FEMA do to alleviate this?” asked Senator Rosen.
“Nevada’s diversity is its strength, with about one-in-five Nevadans born outside the United States, and many more living in households with immigrants, some of whom are undocumented,” said Senator Rosen during her follow-up line of questioning. “As we work to contain the coronavirus, we have to ensure that there is timely access to medical care for everyone who needs it – regardless of their status. This is a public health and safety issue. Anything less puts all of our communities at risk.”
“Mr. Cuccinelli, no one should be afraid to seek care. As the coronavirus spreads, placing our communities at risk, will the Department refrain from apprehending individuals based solely on their immigration status while they are in the process of seeking care?” asked the Senator.
BACKGROUND: Senator Rosen has taken the following actions on COVID-19 in the last month:
•    Participated in a hearing as a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the federal response to COVID-19 and preparations for future global pandemics, and questioned officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Homeland Security.
•    Questioned health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the opportunity to utilize telehealth as a means of treatment for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Senator Rosen also expressed support for ensuring that health insurance limitations are not an obstacle to patients seeking telehealth care.
•    Questioned witnesses from the Department of Transportation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the role of aviation in containing the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 during a hearing hosted by the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation and Space.
•    Joined with colleagues in sending a number of letters to officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Department of Education (ED), requesting information on how the departments will be responding to cases of the coronavirus.
•    Last week, representatives from Senator Rosen’s office attended a briefing with Governor Sisolak and members of Nevada’s public health community to discuss the state’s preparedness for potential cases of coronavirus in Nevada.
•    Last month, Senator Rosen joined her colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar requesting an update on the Administration’s response to the recent coronavirus outbreak.
Nevadans can find updates on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, by visiting the Senator’s website.