WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy, and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, are urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to include Newark Liberty International Airport in the agency’s stepped-up response at major U.S. airports to the Novel Coronavirus, which has infected more than 400, including a Washington State man, and killed nine worldwide.
“We are extremely concerned about the possibility of a person who has been in contact with the Novel Coronavirus traveling through airports in the United States,” wrote New Jersey’s U.S. senators to CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The CDC initially announced that all passengers traveling on direct flights from Wuhan, China would be screened at New York’s JFK, San Francisco and Los Angeles’ LAX airports, and has since added additional screening at Chicago O’Hare and Atlanta Hartsdale.
Sens. Menendez and Booker are calling on the CDC to explain the rationale for not including Newark Liberty—a major international hub and the nation’s fifth busiest airport, according to the USDOT’s Office of Aviation Analysis—in its screening efforts, and to provide resources to all of the major U.S. international airports to screen passengers from China and elsewhere who may have been exposed to the Novel Coronavirus.
Full text of the letter can be downloaded here.