NEW HAVEN, CT—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), senior Democrat on the subcommittee responsible for funding our nation’s critical health care programs, today discussed infectious disease preparedness with representatives of hospitals across Connecticut. They discussed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance on Personal Protective Equipment, and what hospitals need from Congress to properly respond to—and be prepared for—infectious diseases.

“This is a trying time for our hospital preparedness system, which is at the center of the effort to control the spread of Ebola,” said DeLauro. “But federal support has been moving in the wrong direction. The deep cuts we have seen over the last four years are a danger to the public health. Congress has a responsibility to provide the federal funding public health agencies need to properly respond to, and be prepared for, whatever emergencies may arise. I have been fighting these cuts and will continue to do so. I am glad to hear from the hospital administrators present today, who represent every corner of Connecticut. I will take the feedback I received today back to Washington and continue to fight for the resources those on the front lines need to confront all possible epidemics.”

DeLauro has repeatedly called for an immediate meeting of the House of Representatives Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, on which she is the senior Democrat, to discuss the detrimental effect of funding cuts to our public health infrastructure. Republicans on the committee have claimed that a hearing cannot be held because Congress is not in session. However, three hearings—including one today by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee—have been held, rendering that argument nonsensical. The Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee is responsible for funding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

DeLauro was joined by representatives of: Danbury Hospital, John Dempsy Hospital, Eastern Connecticut Health Network, Gaylord Hospital, Hartford Hospital, The Hospital at Hebrew Health Care, Johnson Memorial Hospital, Milford Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Saint Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury Hospital, Yale New Haven Health System, Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response, Middlesex Hospital, and the Connecticut Hospital Association.