House Congressional Tri-Caucus Calls on CDC to Expand Coronavirus Materials for Non-English Speakers

March 13, 2020
Press Release

 

House Congressional Tri-Caucus Calls on CDC to Expand Coronavirus Materials for Non-English Speakers
 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Congressional Tri-Caucus, in a letter led by Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03), called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to offer accessible translations of its materials related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak in all major languages spoken in the United States.

The letter was also signed by Congresswoman Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; Congresswoman Karen Bass, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; Congressman Joaquin Castro, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz, Healthcare & Mental Health Task Force Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Congressman Dr. Ami Bera, Healthcare Task Force Co-Chair, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Healthcare Task Force Co-Chair, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Healthcare Task Force Co-Chair, Congressional Black Caucus; and Congressman Bobby Rush, Healthcare Task Force Co-Chair, Congressional Black Caucus.

“The Coronavirus outbreak is a threat to every community across our country, and every resident across the United States needs to have access to the full CDC guidance to keep safe and prevent further spread,” said Congressman Kim. “We stand in solidarity to call on Dr. Redfield and his team at the CDC to make this change now and help save lives.”

The letter, signed by representatives from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, cites the, “it is imperative that CDC resources and information are made available and accessible to everyone that lives in the United States, which includes over 25 million people who are limited English proficient.”

The letter goes on to urge the CDC to make available information related to Coronavirus, “risk factors, symptoms, prevention, testing and treatment” that is currently only available in English and limited Spanish online and Chinese online. The Tri-Caucus is asking that these materials be fully extended to Spanish, Chinese, French, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, German, Arabic and Russian.  

The full letter can be PDF iconfound here and below.

Robert R. Redfield, M.D.
Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
 

March 13, 2020
 

Dear, Dr. Redfield,
 

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19). As members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – we write to urge the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to offer accessible translations of materials related to COVID-19 in all major languages spoken in the United States.

COVID-19 has been a tremendous source of concern and uncertainty for our constituents. People across this country have been bracing themselves for what the World Health Organization has declared a pandemic. So far, there have been tens of thousands of confirmed cases globally, with the virus having spread to over 100 countries worldwide and nearly every state in the United States. What is clear is that the response to this virus will be a major determinant to what extent it continues to spread in our country.

While we are grateful for the valuable work the CDC has done so far under such uncertain circumstances, we believe there is more that can be done. As you know, the risk of infection rises with prolonged exposure and close contact with infected individuals. We saw this on display when one positive case of COVID-19 turned into more than 500 on the Princess Cruise off the coast of Japan.[1] The pace and severity with which this virus will spread in the United States will be largely dependent on our collective response. For these reasons, it is imperative that CDC resources and information are made available and accessible to everyone that lives in the United States, which includes over 25 million people who are limited English proficient.

In order to slow infection rates, strengthen prevention efforts and dispel misinformation, we urge the CDC to increase the availability of its informational resources to better educate the public on ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Specifically, we urge the CDC to make available information related to COVID-19 risk factors, symptoms, prevention, testing and treatment (that is currently available in English and in limited Spanish and Chinese online) available in all the major languages spoken in our country. This includes, but is not limited to, Spanish, Chinese, French, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, German, Arabic and Russian.[2]  In looking out for the well-being of all Americans, we must ensure that everyone living in this country has access to life-saving information that could help prevent or delay the spread of this virus.

 

We thank you for your prompt attention to this matter and look forward to your reply.

 

Sincerely,

 

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