(WJHL)- Congressmen from our region and lawmakers across the country are faced with having to make rapid responses to the coronavirus outbreak.
Both Congressman Phil Roe of Tennessee and Congressman Morgan Griffith of Virginia are working to address COVID-19.
Rep. Griffith said local businesses are stepping up to help prevent a shortage of medical equipment.
“The private sector is responding. We have a number of folks in the ninth district who are working on masks production as we speak, but ventilators are a little more difficult. Still, we are working hard to increase that supply,” said Griffith.
Griffith said coal miners in Southwest Virginia are particularly susceptible when it comes to getting COVID-19.
“We have a lot of folks who work in the mines that may have, even if they don’t have full fledged black lung, they have some lung disorder from having worked in the mines. So they need to be more careful as to people who are coming into contact with them,” Griffith explained.
Congressman Roe said he’s never seen a pandemic to this extent in his years of being a doctor or lawmaker.
“It’s a tough time and I’ve never been through this. I’ve been through a bunch of epidemics in my practice career while i was here and when I’ve been a physician but i haven’t seen one quite like this,” stated Roe.
Both are working to pass legislation in Congress that will help small businesses business during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The government has caused a lot of these businesses to close as its proper response to the health crisis, but as a result to that i believe the government have a responsibility to try to help people land solidly and get the economy going again as soon as this virus has been dealt with,” Griffith said.
They are also trying to help those who lose their jobs.
“One of the things that we can do is going to be enhanced unemployment folks quickly, not taking forever to get it but quickly,” said Roe.