PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Rep. Kurt Schrader, one of only 2 veterinarians in the US Congress, is calling for a “one-health program” that would streamline the flow of information during times of crisis like the coronavirus outbreak.
In an interview at KOIN 6 News studios, Schrader said this idea would help “us be a little more prepared and more coordinated in our response, internationally, nationally and with our states and local governments.”
The idea would include medical and health professionals, veterinarians, public health officials and doctors “all singing from the same hymnal. We don’t want the CDC coming in with one idea and Health & Human Services with another. So ‘one health’ would help with all that and we’re pushing that legislation right now.”
He also said Congress “got our act together, it appears, in relatively short order” about the coronavirus and pointed to the bipartisan effort that resulted in President Trump signing an $8.3 billion funding bill to battle the coronavirus outbreak.
Schrader said one of the important roles Congress has in times like these is to “reassure America.” To that point, he said the health experts have “pretty universal” recommendations on the best way to combat coronavirus — especially washing your hands — but said it appears the elderly are at a higher risk.
The 68-year-old Democrat has represented Oregon’s 5th Congressional District for 10 years.