WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) commented on the passing of a Bergen County man suffering from COVID-19. His passing represents the first fatality in New Jersey from the novel coronavirus.

“I want to first offer my condolences to the family and loved ones of the man whose life was extinguished by this dreadful virus,” said Rep. Pascrell. “This man’s passing adds even greater urgency for the administration to gets its act together. We need information, we need testing, and we need complete coordination to protect our communities. While our state is moving swiftly to meet this growing challenge, the federal government’s failure to pull its weight and lead is endangering all of us.”

Today, Rep. Pascrell wrote to Dr. Robert Redfield, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demanding greater transparency and cooperation and data-sharing with the states by the CDC. 

Rep. Pascrell has been active in calling for a stronger government response to combat the growing threat of coronavirus and has been harshly critical of the Trump White House’s ill-preparation, lack of transparency, and censuring of medical and scientific experts. On March 3, Pascrell wrote to the heads of the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration calling on them to crackdown on swindlers selling fake treatments for Coronavirus. Within a week, the FTC heeded Pascrell’s warnings and demanded seven prominent scammers cease and desist. On February 25, Pascrell and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) wrote the administrator of the FDA demanding information on the government’s efforts to protect medical supply chains from China.