Missouri lawmakers meet to discuss coronavirus

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JEFFERSON CITY - As the coronavirus death toll increases in the U.S., Missouri lawmakers are meeting Monday to address the disease in the state. Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, created the Special Committee on Disease Control and Prevention to help provide more information on the coronavirus. The committee will meet with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and its director, Dr. Randall Williams.

According to a press release, Speaker Haahr said citizens should know the procedures the state has in place to combat the virus.

"I believe the more information Missourians have, the better equipped the state will be to mitigate the spread of the virus and also monitor for symptoms so a prompt response is possible," Haahr said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. seems "inevitable."

Haahr said the public forum will answer questions on Missourians' minds and assure the public that the state is taking preventative measures. House Representative Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, said the coronavirus is a critical issue and the forum will be an information gathering session for Missourians.

"We want our citizens to know what the hospitals are doing and that other states are testing to stop the coronavirus," said Kendrick. "Conversations about the virus began about a month ago. We're giving Missourians an update on what they need to do to keep themselves safe."

Kendrick said that from the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a shortage of hospital equipment

"The virus has caused a supply chain disruption in hospitals," said Kendrick.

Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS, said Missouri's health care should prevent the state from seeing the number of those infected, like in China.

"Our motto is hope for the best, prepare for the worst," said Dr. Williams. "I would say Missouri is ready for the best and the worst."