Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

“My top priority right now is making sure Americans, especially those I represent in New Rochelle and in the rest of my district, are getting support and resources to deal with this worsening pandemic. I fully support Speaker Pelosi’s efforts to provide American families with the help they need without further delay. I hope congressional Republicans will stop their posturing and do their jobs so we can all get back home and help address this crisis in our communities.

“As Foreign Affairs Committee chair, I’m also concerned about the President’s seemingly rash decision to impose travel restrictions on foreign nationals from across Europe. These restrictions are an ineffective attempt to contain a pandemic already spreading in the United States and only disrupt an already volatile global situation. The President did not consult with Congress or our European partners prior to his announcement, and he should immediately make public the data he used to arrive at this decision so that Congress and the American people can understand why he took this step.

“Combatting coronavirus requires a strong, data-driven response and consistent, open, truthful communication with the public. It also requires a concerted global approach, especially close coordination with our allies and partners who are facing the same challenge we are—not finger-pointing. We need to strike the proper balance among safety, national security, the economic and trade interests of our country, and the rights of the American people.”

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