The spread of the coronavirus is an extremely serious situation. I want to update you on what is being done to protect Americans from this virus. I have had numerous briefings and talked with many experts and want you to know the Trump Administration is taking the right steps to protect you and your family’s health and to stabilize the economy during this extraordinary crisis.
President Trump is taking unprecedented action to respond to the ever-changing threat posed by the coronavirus, including his declaration of a national emergency, which opens up $50 billion to fight the virus across the country. His declaration frees up resources and cuts down on bureaucracy.
In addition to the President’s actions, the House of Representatives passed the second of two bills today to address the crisis caused by the coronavirus. It builds off of last week’s bill when we expanded the availability of tests for the coronavirus to ensure they will be available for those who need them. The Vice President announced more than one million tests have been distributed and more than four million more will go out this week. Coronavirus testing is currently available at Tarrant County Public Health’s lab, which is working with local hospitals. Today, the President announced that tests will be become even easier to access, and we will keep you informed as locations in our area are added.
The bill passed today combats the negative economic effects of this virus. The bill provides:
- Tax incentives to encourage American businesses to allow employees to take emergency leave. No one should have to choose between getting a paycheck, their health or taking care of a sick family member.
- $1.2 billion to help cover the costs of coronavirus testing, including $142 million to eliminate copay requirements for servicemembers and veterans.
- $1.25 billion to provide emergency nutritional assistance for senior citizens, women, children, and low-income families.
The bill the House of Representatives passed today will give the President and our public health officials the tools they need to respond to this quickly evolving threat. I'm working closely with my colleagues and Vice President Mike Pence, who’s leading the President’s coronavirus task force, to ensure that Americans get the comprehensive, coordinated response that they deserve.
I spoke on the House floor on this important legislation today: