September 23, 2020

Rep. Darin LaHood to Local Leaders: Global Health, Foreign Assistance Critical to Fighting Pandemic, Protecting Americans

Watch the full event here:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL-18) joined Illinois 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 Illinois and across the country.

“In this pandemic, the safety and well-being of Americans and their families is more important than ever. That’s why I’m working alongside my colleagues in Congress to take the necessary steps to protect our country,” said Congressman LaHood (R-IL). “We must dedicate resources to eradicate COVID-19 in our communities, while also cooperating with our global partners to stop its spread overseas. The State Department, CDC, USAID, and other agencies are critical to advancing this global fight. As we move forward, I fully support funding for a U.S. international response to COVID-19 — our country’s health, security, and economic recovery depend on it.”

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).

“Food insecurity has skyrocketed because of COVID-19. Without stable food sources, people everywhere are at greater risk of hunger and starvation — humanitarian concerns that can also have serious implications for our national security,’” said Sheryl Wallace, President, North America Grain, Cargill. “In response to COVID-19, Cargill has adjusted our operations to ensure global food systems remain intact, allowing us to deliver food to places that need it most and ensuring communities here and around the world have access to safe, nutritious foods.”

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 Illinois, where over 1.4 million jobs in the state are tied to international trade and exports to foreign markets total more than $65 billion a year.

“A longtime proponent of America’s global development and diplomacy tools, Congressman LaHood understands why our international efforts are critical to help confront COVID-19 and aid in our recovery here at home,” said Jason Gross, USGLC Executive Director. “Over the past months, he has devoted himself to addressing the impacts of COVID-19 in the United States and abroad, calling for stronger U.S. global engagement to protect the health and well-being of communities across Illinois and around the world.”

Many of today’s participants are members of the USGLC’s Illinois Advisory Committee, a strong and growing coalition that brings together more than 110 business, faith, non-profit, veteran, and political leaders who understand why American global leadership matters for Illinois.

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.