6-19-2020 Re-Opening America Update
I had several conference calls and remote meetings with folks from the district this week and it was great to hear everyone’s feedback. I look forward to the day America reopens 100% and we can gather in person again!
- Over 25.4 million COVID-19 tests have been performed in the United States, more than any other country in the world.
- COVID-19 deaths in the United States continue to rise, but on a per capita basis, the U.S. ranks below several countries like Belgium, Spain, Italy, and France HERE.
- President Trump launched “Operation Warp Speed” which aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021 HERE.
- Oxford University announced preliminary findings that dexamethasone reduced death by up to one third in COVID-19 patients on ventilators, from 40 percent to 28 percent, and cut deaths by one-fifth in COVID-19 patients on oxygen, from 25 percent to 20 percent HERE.
- Governor McMaster lifted additional COVID-19 restrictions, including those placed on bowling alleys and retail stores HERE.
- Retail sales in the United States spiked 17.7% in one month as states ease COVID-19 restrictions HERE.
- The Small Business Administration released a 3-page “EZ” loan forgiveness form that certain borrowers can use for the Paycheck Protection Program HERE.
- The Paycheck Protection Program has distributed approximately $5.6 billion to 59,891 Main Street small businesses in South Carolina.
- According to a new poll, “Democrats stand as the lone faction among the political tribes that approve by a majority of defunding the police (55%)” HERE.
- The House and Senate introduced separate law enforcement reform bills – the JUSTICE Act HERE and the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 HERE.
No Bailouts for Riots and Looting
Our nation has been ravaged by riots and looting inspired by the terrorist organization known as ANTIFA. Let’s be clear - this is a manmade disaster, exacerbated by the willful negligence of local officials who failed to allow law enforcement to respond. At a time when our national debt approaches $26 trillion and we’re also dealing with a pandemic, we simply cannot afford to spend tax dollars unwisely. It would be inherently unfair for hard-working South Carolina taxpayers to be on the hook for damages caused by the purposeful inattention of officials in other states. The cities who failed to protect their own citizenry, businesses, and property should be held directly and primarily responsible for the damages their own failures created.
Therefore, I’ve sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi stating that Congress should not allocate a single dime to rebuild damage from recent riots in any COVID relief package, infrastructure package, end-of-year appropriations package, unrelated spending bills, or emergency appropriation bills. Throwing billions of dollars towards our inner cities because of bad behavior would be the ultimate act of bad faith by the federal government.
Read the letter HERE.
Energy and Commerce Committee Hearings
This week the Energy and Commerce Committee conducted our third virtual hearing. The Subcommittee on Energy focused on COVID-19’s impact on the energy sector. I chose to join a few of my Republican colleagues in Washington, where we sat in one of our regular committee hearing rooms and participated virtually.
Next week we will hold a full committee hearing on "Oversight of the Trump Administration’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic." Witnesses include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the NIAID; ADM Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS; Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of the FDA; and Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the CDC. I look forward to my time with these witnesses who have been on the front lines of our nation’s response to COVID-19.
Remembering the Emanuel Nine
June 17th marked the 5th anniversary of the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. It is with heavy hearts that we reflect on the horrific tragedy that occurred that day. South Carolinians responded with grace and strength and the impact it had on our nation will never be forgotten. My prayers are with the family members of the Emanuel Nine. May God bless you all.
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