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BOST OP-ED: VA FACILITY WASTE DISPOSAL MEASURE COULD HELP COMBAT SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS

March 5, 2020
In The News

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Over 90,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide. That’s twice the population of the largest city in my congressional district. When a widespread outbreak like coronavirus occurs, the immediate question is how to prevent it from spreading.

As a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which is tasked with overseeing our VA hospitals, public health security is an issue I’ve been working on within the VA system. According to the VA, over 45 percent of veterans are 60 years and older, a population that is at increased risk for infection and illness. While the federal government is taking steps to rapidly address the threat of coronavirus as cases spread across the globe, we should be especially attuned to the health and safety of our senior veteran population and those who live with, love, and interact with them each and every day.

While we don’t have all the answers as to the cause of coronavirus, I do have a simple, common sense solution that could better equip VA hospitals to help limit it from spreading should they have an infected patient. The answer lies among the used needles, bandages, and surgeons’ gloves at the bottom of a medical waste container.