WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today spoke with members of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce on a teleconference call to provide an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. During the call, Senator Capito heard from members and business owners about their concerns, answered questions, and provided an update on what she and her colleagues are doing at the federal level to offer assistance and relief.
“Over the last two weeks, I have heard from numerous small business owners across West Virginia with questions about the resources available to assist them and their employees during this unprecedented crisis,” Senator Capito said. “I would like to thank the members of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce for providing a forum for me to update them on the various relief efforts that are underway from the federal government, including support for our small businesses. We must do everything we can to help these employers survive this tumultuous time and maintain their employment levels. The resounding message I heard today is that West Virginian’s want to see the partisan gamesmanship end and for the Senate to come together to deliver relief for Americans.”
“The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce is pleased to have this opportunity to connect with Senator Capito,” said Steve Roberts, President of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “We can connect over 5000 chamber members businesses with Senator Capito for her insight and Q and A. Action is urgently needed from Washington, and Senator Capito is our trusted leader in obtaining immediate and urgently needed insight from the halls of the United States Congress.”
Senator Capito is committed to ensuring business leaders and individual workers alike are heard during this uncertain time. Yesterday, Senator Capito spoke with members of the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association (WVHTA).
Senator Capito launched a page on her website to help bring current and accurate information to West Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic. ClickHERE to access the webpage for the latest updates and resources.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic. Click HERE to read Senator Capito’s statement on this announcement, and keep scrolling to learn more about the bill highlights and Senator Capito’s efforts to stay on top of this issue.
BACKGROUND ON SENATOR CAPITO’S CORONAVIRUS EFFORTS:
Senator Capito continues to be focused on this issue, particularly in ensuring the appropriate agencies have the funding they need to mitigate the spread of the virus, test those feeling ill, and treat those infected.
Senator Capito has been in touch with the White House directly to express the need for more testing kits and additional flexibility for West Virginia’s hospital as the situation continues to evolve. Senator Capito also spoke with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III Administration Mary Ann Tierney about the need for more supplies for health care workers in West Virginia.
As chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Capito has made a point to ask the agencies she funds if they are prepared and ready to combat the coronavirus. Below are more details on Senator Capito’s efforts:
· Met with a number of officials, including:
o Vice President Mike Pence, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services (WVDHHS) Commissioner and State Health Officer Dr. Cathy Slemp, members of the Coronavirus Taskforce, and others on the issue.
· Communicated with West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Secretary Bill Crouch about the state’s testing issues.
· Spoke with West Virginia Hospital Association President and CEO Joe Letnaunchyn and West Virginia Health Care Association CEO Marty Wright.
· Voted in favor of the emergency supplemental funding package to help states treat, prevent, and prepare for the Coronavirus. A portion of the funding provided for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is specifically tied to the FY2019 Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) grant awards for states and localities. In West Virginia, this means the state will receive at least $5 million in funding.
· Voted for a second relief package. Click here for more details.
· Attended a senators-only Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee briefing to ask questions directly of leadership from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
· Spoke with West Virginia Governor Jim Justice about West Virginia’s preparedness and readiness.
· Asked various government officials about the role of the aviation industryin containing the spread of the disease.
· During two Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee hearings:
o Questioned Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske about TSA’s coordinating efforts with health agencies.
o Asked Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf about the department’s efforts to monitor and control the coronavirus.
Click here for more information on the coronavirus.