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Local News

Foster decries Trump administration's 'opaque and chaotic' coronavirus response

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, speaks to several constituents Thursday, July 6, 2017, during a forum on the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill.
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, speaks to several constituents Thursday, July 6, 2017, during a forum on the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster took to the House floor last week to criticize the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus.

Foster, D-Naperville, appeared to take aim at how President Donald Trump’s statements about the spread of the disease didn’t always square with those of public health officials.

“After three years of consistently undermining scientific research and scientific fact, this administration is dangerously deficient in credibility and that is directly putting the health and well-being of millions of Americans at risk with an opaque and chaotic response to this outbreak,” Foster said.

Foster also pointed out the administration’s budget proposal, which he said would cut $700 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a national health institute he called a “vital resource that’s at the frontline of this public health emergency.”

Foster added that the administration has left “critical” positions vacant at the Department of Homeland Security and on the National Security Council, including posts responsible for managing pandemics.

“Americans need their leaders to spend less time tweeting and more time making sure that government resources are coordinated and fully funded and ready to combat this outbreak,” Foster said.

Foster spoke before Congress passed legislation to provide $8.3 billion to help public health agencies tackle the outbreak. Trump signed the bill Friday.

Still, Foster said Trump must be held accountable for properly using the funding and giving out accurate information to the public. He added that Americans must also worry about whether information from the administration might be “distorted” to politically benefit the president.

“Three years of keeping science and facts at arm’s length have rightly made people suspicious of what comes out of the White House,” he said.

As of last week, the virus had infected more than 200 people and killed 12 in the U.S.

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