Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price promised swift congressional action to deal with the medical fallout that’s occurred as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
“We are still in the midst of this crisis and this storm. At HHS and at FEMA we’re still at a rescue and a life saving mode. The president has committed that he will make a request to Congress when they return next week, and I think Congress will do the right thing and address the needs of Texans and the folks in Louisiana. To make certain we are able to address a historic, epic storm,” Price said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day.”
Price praised the early disaster declaration from President Donald Trump, and said it will help in dealing with the storm in the long term.
“The early declaration of it allowed Texas and Louisiana to prepare for the challenges that now exist which are significant and will go on not just for weeks, not for month, but literally for years,” Price said. “HHS deployed more assets, pre-deployed more assets to Harvey down in the Texas area than ever before in the history of HHS. That’s an important thing because what that allows us to then do is to respond to a greater degree.”
When asked how Harvey victims can get access to essential prescription medications, Price was confident that local pharmacies could shoulder the load and help ease patient’s chronic conditions.
“All of those are being addressed through FEMA and HHS. From a pharmacy standpoint there are over 2,000 pharmacies in the affected area, and only about 200 of them have had to close. So what people have had to do is get to a different pharmacy, maybe the same company but a different pharmacy and they’re able to fill those prescriptions,” Price said. “What we’re trying to do, however, is get folks back to their communities as fast as possible, but it’s those chronic disease challenges that tend to harm folks more than the storm itself.”
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