Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Hit Hard by COVID-19, Where Do We Go From Here?
GV-Wire-1
By gvwire
Published 4 years ago on
August 7, 2020

Share

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and our nation is seeing the alarming spread of this deadly virus – with more than 155,942 deaths and rising rates of spread. California continues to feel the impacts, with
the San Joaquin Valley especially hard hit and fighting to contain the virus.

Official U.S. House portrait of Rep. Jim Costa

Rep. Jim Costa

Opinion

The coronavirus knows no geographical, social or economic boundaries. It does not discriminate. It’s our enemy and we are at war. When you compare the U.S. metrics worldwide there are stark differences.
We have 4.25% of the world’s population, 26% of the world’s positive cases, and 22% of the world’s deaths. This did not need to happen.

Yet, we still have no national plan. Instead, President Trump has left this war to states, largely ignoring our top medical experts and scientists. Today, we are left with 50 state battle plans, all competing for
much-needed and necessary testing and protective supplies. And we are failing.

Americans are looking for answers. They wonder what’s gone wrong, and ask: “How can the richest and most-advanced country in the world be taken down so quickly?” They’re fighting to hold on — reeling as
they face the prospect of losing their home, job, or business.

Time to Act Is Now So We Can Reopen Economy, Schools

We cannot wait to act if we want to fully open our economy and our schools.

We should never politicize a pandemic, and that is not my goal here. I want action. I want to encourage all of my colleagues – local, state, and federal elected leaders from both parties – to come together to
develop a regional plan to help the Valley turn the tide of this battle we are losing.

We also need your help — we need every American to do their part. The only way to get life back on track is if we all act responsibly by staying home, limiting contact with people outside your household, wearing masks, washing hands, and isolating if we are infected.

We cannot retreat. Instead, we must:

• Improve education and outreach to under-served communities, including farmworkers who are the backbone of our agriculture community and are being deeply affected.

• Fix our testing models to ensure appointments are immediately available and accessible for anyone who needs a test.

• Accelerate test results to under 48 hours to ensure health officials can quickly work to contain outbreaks.

• Secure supplies for ALL regional hospitals and clinics so that our healthcare teams can care for our sick.

• Activate and trust our community-based organizations to create plans to help our most vulnerable.

• Act, without hesitation. And without political motivation.

Fifth Relief Package Is on the Way

In Congress, we have provided four bipartisan relief packages to aid the American people, sending $3 trillion dollars into our communities to provide a safety net for small businesses, displaced workers,
hospitals, and local communities. It has not been enough.

Congress is negotiating a fifth relief package. The House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act on May 15. It was designed to provide additional support for states and local governments, increase
funding for testing and our health care facilities, extend unemployment insurance until Jan. 31, 2021, further assist small businesses, create a safety net for American agriculture, including farmworkers,
and help with the devastating social and economic impacts from the virus.

It also creates a plan for the future by funding medical schools in underserved areas — an effort I lead — that would help us close the gap on our well-documented physician shortage in the Valley.

These funds are intended to give our local and state leaders an arsenal to fight this battle on all fronts. We can only defeat this enemy by coordinating our battle plans between local and state governments,
county health departments, hospitals and clinics, schools, and businesses. Governor Newsom has already pledged $52 million more to support the Valley.

Watch: Rep. Costa Remembers John Lewis

Everything American Must Do Their Part

We also need your help — we need every American to do their part. The only way to get life back on track is if we all act responsibly by staying home, limiting contact with people outside your household,
wearing masks, washing hands, and isolating if we are infected.

I spend every day with my staff talking to members of this community, working to coordinate efforts. We have had successes, including getting more state testing sites into our smaller communities and
improving supply chains, helping small businesses access forgivable loans and disaster assistance, helping individuals get stimulus payments, and much more.

Our work is nowhere near complete. I remain committed and steadfast. We can — and we will — win this battle. Let’s come together as Americans to defeat this virus.

About the Author

Rep. Jim Costa represents California’s 16th Congressional District, which covers the city of Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties.

DON'T MISS

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

DON'T MISS

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

DON'T MISS

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

DON'T MISS

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

DON'T MISS

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

DON'T MISS

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

DON'T MISS

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

DON'T MISS

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

DON'T MISS

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

UP NEXT

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

UP NEXT

Carbon Capture Isn’t Nearly as ‘Green’ as Fossil Fuel Promoters Make It Sound

UP NEXT

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

UP NEXT

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

UP NEXT

Biden’s Embrace of Trump’s Tariffs Could Spell Trouble for His Reelection: Fareed Zakaria

UP NEXT

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

UP NEXT

While California Politicians Skirmish Over Housing, the Shortage Keeps Growing

UP NEXT

As PG&E Bills Skyrocket, Will California Lawmakers Hold Anyone Accountable?

UP NEXT

Trustees Owe a Nationwide Superintendent Search to Fresno’s Children

UP NEXT

Taxes Are on the November Ballot in Monumental CA Showdown

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

2 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

3 hours ago

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

4 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

Video /

4 hours ago

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

5 hours ago

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

5 hours ago

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

5 hours ago

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

5 hours ago

Logan Webb’s Seven Dominant Innings Help Giants Blank Diamondbacks

6 hours ago

San Francisco Mayor Announces the City Will Receive Pandas from China

6 hours ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

Roosevelt High School hosted a screening of the documentary “Hopeville: How to Win the Reading Wars” on Tuesday, April 16. “This...

5 mins ago

5 mins ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

35 mins ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

2 hours ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

2 hours ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

3 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

4 hours ago

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

Video /
4 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

5 hours ago

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend