WASHINGTON -- Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James released the following statement Friday after the White House declared a national emergency to combat the coronavirus:
“In times of crisis, the American people deserve strong, calming leadership from our leaders. The president’s declaration today exhibited just that. The White House’s actions are decisive, appropriate, timely, and consistent with legal authorities, and will greatly aid in our country’s response to the coronavirus.
“Though the White House’s action may be called an “emergency declaration” in the legal sense, in reality it is a reassurance to the American people that the federal government, state governments, non-governmental organizations, and the powerful workhorse of American industry are working together tirelessly to stop the spread of the coronavirus, to treat the infected, and to mitigate its effects on our country. It is a clear signal to the American people that the federal government is fully doing its part to complement and reinforce states’ valiant efforts to combat the coronavirus. As with the recent travel ban, the federal government is continuing to take steps that are both appropriate and effective.
“We should be encouraged by the White House’s actions to cut bureaucratic red-tape in programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and to expand innovative programs like telehealth, which will increase access to care for more people more quickly. We can take heart at the sight of private-sector competitors standing shoulder-to-shoulder, united in fighting this common enemy. And we can draw strength from the progress against this virus which we have already made as a nation.
“Challenging times like these remind us of the greatness of America. Even in the face of adversity, we can, and must, pull together to confront those challenges, whether they be as massive as nuclear powers or as ‘small’ as microscopic viruses. Therein lies our strength. Today can be a turning point in fighting this virus – if we stand together.”