Written for 7 News on March 21, 2020

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) – North country congresswoman Elise Stefanik has joined the call for the federal government to do more to provide medical equipment and testing supplies to fight the coronavirus.

Stefanik spoke by phone Friday during a teleconference organized by the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce.

Stefanik said she is pressing federal officials for “an immediate focus on the manufacturing and procurement of necessary medical equipment and testing supplies and ventilators.

“We need to use every asset of the federal government including the Department of Defense.”

Stefanik also said that despite New York and several other states issuing “stay at home” orders, there is no plan to do so nationwide.

“That is not being considered,” she said. “We have to remember that New York is the epicenter right now, New York state has more cases than any other state in the country.”

Stefanik urged people in the north country to follow the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) guidance on protecting against the coronavirus. She said some of her own staff is working remotely, and she’s following the CDC’s guidance as well.

“In terms of conversations with my own family, I’m taking the guidance just like everyone else,” Stefanik said.

“I have two parents that are over the age of 60, and in particular I’ve urged my mom to be very cognizant and not go to crowded places and to stay home as much as possible.”

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