WASHINGTON DC (March 20, 2020) — Prepared Remarks by Senator Charles "Chuck" Grassley, United States Senate President Pro Tempore:
On September 11, 2001, America was attacked by evil.
Thousands of our countrymen were murdered by terrorists.
In an instant, the nation was gripped with fear and anxiety.
And as our buildings burned, we mourned the loss of our fellow Americans.
But as we mourned, we also united as a country.
We came together and stood as one against our common enemy.
That unity laid the foundation of our victory and it helped our military men and women deliver justice to those who sought to destroy us.
Now, we confront a similar challenge.
Unlike the 9/11 attacks, our enemy today is faceless.
We can’t see it or hear it.
We can’t send our armed forces to hunt it down and protect us.
But much like our response to the terrorist attacks nearly 20 years ago, we must unite as a country.
The threat we face is perhaps the greatest since World War II.
Never before have we shuttered so much of our country.
Never before has our society changed so much — seemingly overnight.
The coronavirus could prove as deadly as any war in recent history.
And that is why it’s everyone’s responsibility to do their part.
In Congress, we’ve already passed legislation to provide emergency relief.
And our job isn’t done yet.
Further, unprecedented economic and public health support is on its way.
But what we do in Washington and state capitals across the country is only one part of the solution.
It is the civic duty of every community, every family and every individual to enlist in this fight.
Make no mistake: the nation is at war.
A war on our own soil.
This war and this enemy aren’t like anything we have fought before.
Our strategy and tactics will be different, but the stakes are just as high.
This war won’t be waged in foreign lands with tanks or guns or troops.
It will be waged right here, in hospitals, in public places and in homes, and with personal responsibility, sacrifice and patience.
It is on every American to exercise these values.
Do not gather in large groups.
Do not hoard critical goods.
Keep your distance from those you must be near.
Protect yourself and others by washing your hands, covering your cough or sneeze and cleaning commonly used surfaces.
Work from home if you can.
Check on your neighbors.
Call your relatives.
Offer to help each other, especially the most vulnerable.
We’re all in this together.
Much as we did before, we must shed party labels and put aside partisan politics.
We must band together and hold onto our national identity, our families and our faith.
Throughout history, Americans have risen to the occasion when confronted with crisis.
I’m confident this time will be no different.
It’s up to each and every American to fight the spread of this deadly virus.
Countless lives depend on it.
The days and months ahead will be tough for everyone.
But a safer, healthier and more prosperous United States of America is around the corner.