WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today spoke on the Senate Floor on the need to support Americans at risk during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Up until a few days ago my state of West Virginia felt we were immune. There were no cases reported in our state. I knew that wasn’t the case and many people knew we weren’t testing because the amount of tests needed weren’t out there, so people had a false sense of maybe hope or security, and now that has been shattered. We have our first case in West Virginia, and I’m praying to the good lord that we don’t have many more, but I suspect that because of the fragility of our citizens, the elderly population that we have, those who have done hard work all their lives, have respiratory illnesses, they could be in jeopardy and we’re very concerned about that.
“I don’t think that you and I need a $1,000 check. Think about the people that truly do need that and a lot more, people on the front line that have no control over this whatsoever, who don’t have a guaranteed source of income unless they’re out there earning it every day. Don’t you think we can help them more through expanded unemployment benefits, working through the system that we already have in place in all of our states and in this country? We must also support our small businesses. Don’t you think we can help them through the Small Business Administration (SBA) removing some of the restrictions and red tape that we have, unemployment benefits basically waiting on wait times, increasing that to a $500 a week limit? We must do something for our small businesses and workers.
“I’m not sitting here blaming the President or blaming any Administration or anybody else for what we didn’t do two or three or four months ago. I’m sitting here now, asking are we going to take responsibility for what we’re about to do. Let’s make sure the money that we’re putting in the system is fixing the medical needs, finding a cure for this virus, making sure that other viruses or pandemics don’t attack us again. Let’s make sure that we’re doing everything we can for what we’re responsible for,” said Senator Manchin.