Legislators focusing on public health in reopen plan

MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- As President Trump announces plans to get the economy back up and running, a bipartisan group of lawmakers are already working on their own plan to make that happen.

The group just unveiled a checklist on how to re-open the economy and protect people’s health.

These representatives say coronavirus is as complicated as problems come, which is why they rolled out a two-part, six page plan designed to work everywhere throughout to the country to start re-opening the economy.

“This is the biggest challenge we will ever face as Americans,” Fred Upton said, Congressman, Michigan 6th District.

Fred Upton and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus released the plan on the future of the US economy and public on Monday.

The caucus is made up equally of Democrats and Republicans, working to meet in the middle of the aisle on key issues, such as re-opening the economy in the midst of the global pandemic.

The plan is broken up into a public health checklist and an economy recovery checklist.

Some of the key points in the economy recovery checklist that could impact the public the most are as follows:

Details show plans to expand low interest loans and tax incentives for businesses that have been hit the hardest. Agriculture relief is its own mark on the checklist as initiatives include direct aid and recovery assistance.

From renters and homeowners to landlords and lenders, legislators say they must find a way to give people some type of relief.

As for areas of government (States, Counties, Cities, Towns) that were previously excluded from getting additional resources, those entities would now receive those investments.

As the country moves forward out of the pandemic, retraining and job placement programs will be rolled out to help people with employment opportunities.

“At the end of the day, we all want things to be open and we know that our lives are going to be changed quite a bit,” Upton said. “We’ve mastered the social distancing; we’re going to have to make sure that remains in place until we find a vaccine and the right therapeutics for a cure.”

While many frustrated people are protesting to open the economy back up, legislators said the nation must also focus on the impact of people’s health.

Some of the key points in the public health checklist that could impact the public the most are as follows:

Plans call for a rapid testing system so that the virus can be monitored within each community.

To keep those on the front-lines and employees working in essential sectors safe, legislators said a bigger supply of PPE is needed.

The checklist stated that access to protective masks should be available for all K-12 school children and teachers to return to school.

All workplaces opened for business will be required to maintain social distancing. Employers will need to follow strict guidelines for cleaning and regular sanitization.

While a vaccine is still month away, plans call for stockpiling essential materials, such as syringes, to get the vaccine out as quickly and effectively as possible once it is available.

In case of another outbreak, hospitals must have enough staff on hand to plan for the possibility of a future pandemic.

Two Michigan legislators also suggested that people might need to take steps that have never been taken before.

“I think all of us are going to see just like we used to going through an x-ray now to the airport,” Debbie Dingell said, Congresswoman, Michigan 12th District. “We’re all going to have our temperature taken at a lot of places we’ve never thought about from restaurants, to grocery store, to places of work.”

“Any retail establishment that we go to ought to have what I think the Mayor of New York has done, Bill de Blasio—no shirt, no shoes, no service—no face masks,” Upton said. “We ought to have a face mask until we get a vaccine and some therapeutics that are going to solve this.”

Representatives Upton and Dingell are working how to deal with coronavirus in Michigan, but it is a nationwide effort to safely get America back on its feet—when it is safe to do so.

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