Response from Senator Jack Reed to ANA-RI Executive Director, Donna Policastro Concerning COVID-19
Dear Ms. Policastro:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. I appreciate hearing from you.
I remain in Washington and continue to work to keep Rhode Islanders safe and healthy and to provide the resources our state needs to respond to this public health and economic crisis. I am also focused on quickly providing emergency resources for those health care providers on the front lines and the many other workers, families, and children that are affected by this pandemic.
Before addressing the ongoing work in the Senate, I'd encourage you to take a moment to visit https://www.reed.senate.gov/coronavirus. This webpage will serve as my coronavirus tracking hub, where I'll be updating all of my work related to COVID-19 - from my phone call with Vice President Pence on March 16, where I pushed for more personal protective equipment and medical supplies for our state, to my work to get the Small Business Administration to issue a disaster declaration on March 17, in order to give Rhode Island's small businesses access to financing. I'll continue to update this page with new resources and information as they happen.
To date, the Senate has passed two coronavirus-related bills, and I have strongly supported both. The first piece of legislation included funds for state and local preparedness, vaccine development, and small business loans, among other efforts to mitigate the outbreak. The second package, which passed on March 18, requires free coronavirus testing, provides emergency paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave, and expands unemployment benefits and food nutrition programs. As has been widely reported in the press, both chambers of Congress and the Trump Administration are working on a third, larger package. As a senior member of the Appropriations and Banking Committees, I continue to be highly involved in this process as I work to ensure Rhode Islanders needs are met.
If I can assist with any needs you may have, please call (401) 943-3100 or contact me through my website. I also encourage you to regularly monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the RI Department of Health's websites for new information or guidance.
I truly appreciate the time you have taken to share your concerns about COVID-19. Hearing directly from Rhode Islanders gives me critical information I need, in order to push for the resources our state and country require to fight this pandemic. Stay safe.
United States Senator