U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take greater action on detecting and preventing the spread of coronavirus.
In a letter to CDC Director Robert Redfield, Crist asked for transparency in the agencies planning as well as additional action on how individuals and families can take preventative action.
President Donald Trump does not plan to request emergency funding to respond to the outbreak, which has left many lawmakers frustrated, according to The Hill.
While only 12 cases have been reported in the U.S., officials are concerned action is needed to stave off a more widespread problem.
Coronavirus first began in China at the end of 2019. So far more than 28,000 cases have been confirmed in Asia, Europe and North America, including in the U.S.
Crist’s call for action specifically targeted outreach, prevention and education outreach for vulnerable communities including young children, seniors and those with compromised immune systems.
“As you know, the world is confronting a global health emergency. A novel coronavirus has spread across continents and could be particularly contagious – even before an infected person shows symptoms,” Crist wrote.
“With new information coming out every day, my constituents are concerned about what the virus could mean for them and their families and what their government is doing to keep them safe. They want to be informed and engaged, not left in the dark like what they are seeing out of China.”
Crist blamed the Chinese government for allowing the virus to spread by concealing early information about the illness.
“To avoid a repeat of that in the United States, transparency is key,” Crist wrote. “While the Administration recently announced bold steps, it is critical that CDC get the message through to the American people about what they can be doing to protect themselves and their families.”
Also critical, Crist added, is outreach to people who may be at greater risk of contracting the virus.
“At a time when the American people are wondering if we are doing everything we can, the more information CDC can convey, the better,” Crist wrote.