To help you feel more connected to and involved with your County government, each week I'll be sharing with you the report that I present at the County Council meetings. You are welcome to attend County Council meetings; they are open to the public and feature time for public comment.
Below is the County Executive Report I delivered during the February 18, 2020 County Council meeting.
Thank you, Lisa, and good evening everyone.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease has created a stir as the number of cases in China, where it originated, have grown.
In the U.S., cases have been confirmed in seven states. There have been no confirmed cases here in Missouri. The St. Louis County Department of Public Health receives daily updates from the Department of Homeland Security, daily briefings from the CDC, and is working in partnership with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
While there is reason for concern, just like there is for the flu, that concern does not excuse racist or xenophobic behavior. Local Chinese-owned businesses have reported dips in business and Asian students at some of our universities have reported disparaging remarks.
Last week, an Asian-American boy in California was physically attacked in his high school, falsely accused of having the coronavirus.
Any time there is a public health concern, we cannot stoke fear and apprehension with ignorance.
Based on information from the CDC, the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low, and the best way to keep that risk low is for every one of us to do our part.
It is currently flu season and the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, and taking everyday preventative actions to help stop the spread of germs. That includes:
In addition to taking precautions for yourself and for those in your care, please do not let hysteria be your guide.
Today, I had lunch at Wonton King, a staple on Olive Boulevard for 20 years. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. This is an opportunity to show your support and help those that could be struggling as a result of misinformation out there regarding coronavirus.
Before the council tonight for final passage is a bill that would ban domestic abusers from carrying concealed firearms. It would bring local ordinances in line with federal law. I appreciate the council’s action on this important piece of legislation and appreciate the continued efforts in Jefferson City by groups such as Moms Demand Action so that we can get statewide legislation that is both respectful of the Second Amendment and protective of those who have been impacted by domestic violence.
Yesterday, the Missouri House of Representatives passed legislation to create a statewide prescription drug monitoring program.
The measure now moves to the Senate, where it has failed in recent years over privacy concerns. Missouri remains the only state without a PDMP.
Because of that failure at the state level, we began a PDMP here in 2017 as a response to the opioid crisis. I led the effort because I know the dangers of these drugs when over-used and over prescribed.
St. Louis County now administers the program for 75 participating jurisdictions across the state.
It’s time to make this a statewide program, so we can fight together the opioid crisis that affects thousands of Missourians each year.
Thanks, Lisa. That’s all for now.