Good evening. Welcome to our Week-End Update.
I want to begin our update by again thanking the brave men and women, the doctors, nurses, health care providers, police, firefighters, small businesses and countless others putting their lives in jeopardy to support their fellow Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 pandemic. I also want to again express my condolences to the families who have lost family or friends to the virus. The tide is turning, but I realize that is of little comfort to those families who have been directly affected by the loss of a closed loved one due to COVID-19.
This week, our staff and I continued to work with constituents and businesses to navigate the Covid-19 climate and transition as stay-at-home orders are lifted and many begin to return to work. This week, Governor Tom Wolf began the process of reopening Pennsylvania. The Governor announced that on May 8, 2020, twenty-four counties will partially reopen, mostly in northwestern and north-central parts of Pennsylvania. The 24 counties that will are Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren. Click here to read the Governor’s press release.
I will continue to advocate for Pennsylvania to follow the CDC guidelines and be innovative regarding our Commonwealth's own situation as they begin to reopen. We need to be inclusive with the private sector to establish safe working standards so our economy can begin recovering in a safe manner. There is no question that we have had a very deliberate shutdown of our economy. However, we cannot cause businesses to go bankrupt and for families to go without essential needs. This is why Congress passed the CARES Act, which has proven to be a good comprehensive plan to address the economic issues caused by the virus. Governors throughout the nation must be strategic as they safely open up the economy and create revenue. We cannot afford to see states create budget deficits so large that cause many of our citizens' longterm pain.
Good afternoon and welcome to our Week-End Update.
Yesterday, President Donald Trump signed legislation providing $484 billion to replenish a small business lending program and support hospitals and COVID-19 testing amid the coronavirus pandemic. I voted to support the additional funding in Washington on Thursday.
This was a critical package as this funding provides direct assistance to countless small businesses who applied, were approved for loans, but could not get assistance because the program’s funding was exhausted.
The measure includes an additional $310 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $60 billion of which is reserved for community banks and small lenders; $75 billion for hospitals; $25 billion to support testing efforts; and $60 billion for emergency disaster loans and grants.
Good evening and welcome to our Week-End Update.
This week, we have continued to track the positive impact our social distancing has had in our fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, as signs have appeared across Pennsylvania and across the nation that we are beginning to get ahead of the virus. While the number of deaths has increased, some of that has to do with the reclassification of previous cases resulting in death as COVID-19 related. While we must continue to remain vigilant, it appears we are getting closer to being able to reopen our country’s economy and get people back to work in a responsible manner.
President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the entire Coronavirus task force continue to do an exemplary job. There is excellent cooperation between the federal government and state governments. It is particularly impressive that this cooperation is taking place during a crisis that requires such urgency.
I, like many, continue to be disappointed by some in the mainstream media who are attempting to use this crisis as a political tool. I wrote a series of tweets on this subject that were retweeted by Donald Trump, Jr. (See below). I get very annoyed when the mainstream media and some Democrat leaders state things that are factually and historically untrue and try to put undue blame on President Trump.
Good afternoon and welcome to our Week-End Update.
First of all, Happy Easter and Happy Passover. Despite these difficult times, we have much to be thankful for as we celebrate our faith, family and friends.
These are difficult times and I again want to thank the brave doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers who are keeping our society moving. I also want to acknowledge and thank the many businesses who are working to produce and contribute masks, visors and other medical equipment that is needed at this time. For example, congratulations to Adelle Schade from Albright College who put together an initiative to develop face shields. They're looking for companies or people with 3D printers to contact them to learn how they can help. Anyone with a 3D printer who is willing to participate is asked to email Schade at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to read more.
My team and I were able to help coordinate contributions from a few companies who will distribute almost 10,000 masks over this week and next to area hospitals. There are some great acts of kindness taking place.
Most importantly, Shelley and I want to again offer our prayers to the families of the victims of the coronavirus.
We wanted to help families who need a meal, we sponsored take-out for families at Leggio’s in Dallas. I want to thank Brenda & Alan Pugh, my brother Scott and his wife Susan Meuser and Robert Bresnahan, Jr. for joining Shelley and me in sponsoring dinner. We certainly had a big turnout. I also want to thank Sal & Lori Leggio and the staff and Leggio’s for working all day and into the evening to provide as many meals as possible. Those who are helping to keep us fed during this crisis, from the restaurant employee to the grocery clerk and to all those volunteering and helping at food banks, are playing a significant role in helping us to get through this situation. I would like to give a special shoutout to Jane Clements-Smith and her team with Feeding PA for helping to knock down barriers to ensure those who need food have access. You can read about the great work Jane and Feeding PA are doing in this article. (Pictured below with Sal)