Press Room

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike Testifies on COVID-19

ARLINGTON, Va. (Mar. 4, 2020)—Ngozi Ezike, MD, director of the Illinois Department of Health, testified today before the House Committee on Homeland Security entitled, “Confronting the Coronavirus: Perspectives on the Response to a Pandemic Threat.” This hearing provides a forum for Congress to learn more about the current efforts to prepare and respond to novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) is pleased that Congress is hearing directly from state health officials to learn more about what additional assistance is needed from the federal government to ensure a robust national response effort to COVID-19.

"Since the first Illinois case was identified in January a strong federal, state, county, and local coordinated effort ensued and enabled our state to be a leader in addressing this rapidly developing outbreak. We encourage Congress to continue and increase its financial support of state-lead preparedness and response through federal emergency supplemental legislation," says Ezike. "Public health security is homeland security. Our country is nothing without the health of its people and we can all work together to ensure that we continue to support this response and decrease the potential negative impact on Americans."

For more information and to read Ezike’s testimony, visit the committee’s website.

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ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.