May 1, 2020

Rep. Adam Smith to to 150+ Local Leaders: Global Health, Foreign Assistance Critical to Fighting Pandemic, Protecting Americans

Watch the full event here:

WASHINGTON, D.C. / RENTON – Today, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, joined more than 150 Washington state political, business, and community leaders in a virtual town hall to discuss the importance of American global health, diplomacy, and development programs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the health and safety of all Americans—in Washington state and across the country.

“The world looks to America to lead, especially in the face of this pandemic. Our actions and investments in global health and development are critical for mitigating outbreaks across the world and here at home,” said Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA). “COVID-19 has upended countries around the world, and the impact on developing countries will be especially devastating. While we fight the pandemic at home, we also must ensure we stamp out this virus around the world and prevent new surges. Our country’s diplomats, global health experts, and development personnel will play an important role and reinforce the value of U.S. leadership in times of crisis. I am committed to protecting our country and strengthening American global leadership — and that’s why I support fully funding America’s diplomacy and foreign assistance efforts.”

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted today’s online event at a time when policy makers are considering our country’s response to the pandemic at home and abroad, including resources for the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

U.S. international engagement is crucial to deal with the pandemic, from a global health perspective as well as an economic one—an especially important matter in Washington, where over 921,400 jobs in the state are tied to international trade and exports to foreign markets total more than $78 billion a year.

“To defeat this pandemic at home, we have to be fighting it overseas —and we’re talking about that here today,” said Liz Schrayer, USGLC President and CEO. “As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise around the world, our conversation with Congressman Smith couldn’t come at a more critical time. A champion for our country’s global health and international programs, he understands the importance of resources to ensure that we reduce the impacts of this virus in Washington, and around the world.

Many of today’s participants are members of the USGLC’s Washington Advisory Committee, a strong and growing coalition that brings together more than 80 business, faith, non-profit, veteran, and political leaders who understand why American global leadership matters for Washington state.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.