The State Department’s Efforts and Resources
The State Department Team Is Working Tirelessly To Combat the Outbreak
The Department of State is taking decisive action to inform and safeguard U.S. citizens overseas, protect the homeland, advance the Administration’s commitment to building global health security capacity for this and future outbreaks, and reduce the impact for U.S. companies and supply chains overseas.
Our team here in Washington — and at our embassies and consulates across the globe — is working tirelessly to address the outbreak:
Protecting the Homeland
The Department’s priority is protecting the United States and slowing the spread of the virus. We’ve implemented prudent travel restrictions, in conjunction with our interagency partners, for individuals who have been present in areas deemed high-risk by U.S. health authorities. To help protect U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad, we continually update our country-specific Travel Advisories and issue timely Alerts to keep U.S. citizen travelers informed and safe.
Keeping U.S. Citizen Travelers Informed
The Department uses a wide range of tools, including Travel Advisories and Alerts, to communicate clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information that helps U.S. citizens make informed decisions about travel overseas. Every U.S. Embassy and Consulate has also updated its website so that U.S. citizens in every country around the globe have access to the latest information on COVID-19. We will continue to update this information frequently, and encourage U.S. citizens to read our latest Travel Advisories in their entirety and to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP.state.gov) to receive further updates.
Supporting the Department’s Workforce and Preparing Our Employees
The safety and security of our workforce is among the Department’s foremost priorities. The Department has issued interim guidance on leave and workplace flexibilities for employees on ordered or authorized departure and will update such guidance as necessary. As a prudential measure, the Department has asked overseas posts to convene their respective Emergency Action Committees (EACs) to ensure post preparedness. The Bureau of Medical Services follows CDC and WHO recommendations regarding prevention, diagnosis, isolation, and treatment for all infectious diseases.
Supporting the U.S. Government Response
The Deputy Secretary of State leads the U.S. Department of State efforts to monitor, prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread of the virus. Experts from across the Department have been mobilized through the Coronavirus Global Response Coordination Unit (CGRCU) to leverage a wide array of bilateral, multilateral, and private-sector stakeholders and partners for synchronized consular, diplomatic, economic, and regional response.
As the global travel ground to a halt in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State rose to meet the historic challenge of bringing Americans home. The U.S. Government has no higher priority than the protection of American citizens. The State Department launched an unprecedented global effort to bring home our citizens from every corner of the globe and repatriated thousands of Americans from multiple countries. Our teams worked around-the-clock in Washington and overseas in the midst of the pandemic to safeguard American citizens.
Assisting U.S. Citizens Across the World
We are committed to ensuring the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad. In an extraordinary effort, we have repatriated tens of thousands of people to the United States in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, in close coordination with CDC and HHS public health experts. We continue to recommend U.S. citizens use commercial travel options and follow the advice of local authorities. We will continue working with our international partners to combat the outbreak, provide assistance to those who remain overseas, and minimize the risks to our citizens around the world.
The United States has continued to demonstrate its global leadership in public health and humanitarian assistance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Administration is deploying the full range of U.S. resources to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19 not just at home, but also across the globe:
- Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. Government has announced more than $1.6 billion in State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) emergency health, humanitarian, economic, and development assistance specifically aimed at helping governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) fight the pandemic. This funding, provided by Congress, will save lives by improving public health education; protecting healthcare facilities; and increasing laboratory, disease-surveillance, and rapid-response capacity in more than 120 countries.
- The State Department, , and are working together to support health systems, humanitarian assistance, and economic, security, and stabilization efforts worldwide with the $2.4 billion in an emergency supplemental funding Congress has allocated.
- The United States is by far the most generous and reliable contributor to crisis response and humanitarian action through UNICEF, the World Food Program, and dozens of international organizations. Our leadership enables these organizations to fight disease and ultimately, protect Americans.
- Americans don’t just provide aid through government means. Through the generosity of American private businesses, non-profit groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, and individuals, Americans have now provided more than $4.9 billion in donations and assistance globally for COVID-19 response.
The United States has always stood by our partners through pandemics and crises. In the face of the COVID-19, the American people are here to help.
Engaging With Partners and Allies
The Department is actively working with international partners and governments to combat the spread of the outbreak. Reaffirming the centrality of diplomacy every step of the way, we have remained in close communication and tight coordination with affected countries as the U.S. Government implements necessary travel restrictions or issues advisory updates to ensure bilateral relations remain strong in the face of prudent and robust public health measures. The U.S. Government has briefed more than 100 officials from more than 70 nations. We are also working with international public and private sector partners, including the WHO, to rapidly enhance our knowledge of the virus, inform our public health decisions, and accelerate the research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
Building Global Health Security for the Front Line
The Department shares a global interest in preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats at their source. The Department continues to promote the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and coordinate implementation of activities that help strengthen laboratories and diagnostics, equip front-line workers with needed tools, protect populations against emerging outbreaks, including this coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and much more. These partnerships have laid foundations to rapidly and effectively prepare for emerging threats, including COVID-19. U.S. global health security investments are one of the most effective ways of saving lives and protecting U.S. citizens from global pandemics and the spread of pathogens.
Mitigating International Impacts to U.S. Business
The White House, the Department, and other U.S. Government agencies are coordinating to provide U.S. businesses and employers with information about COVID-19. The Administration is monitoring the possible effects of COVID-19 on supply chains, in addition to convening pharmaceutical company leaders on the supply chain challenges that may impact the United States.
The United States remains deeply concerned by information indicating that some government regimes may have suppressed vital details about the outbreak and, given the implications to public health, continues to reiterate that all countries should transparently share information and cooperate with relevant international public health and aid organizations.