Congressman Kilmer said he’s fighting for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) funding

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer said Monday he is working on a “robust emergency funding package” to deal with the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

Kilmer, a 6th District Democrat, said in an email to constituents Monday that he had been briefed on the spread of COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday.

“It’s important that you know that – according to the CDC – the vast majority of those around the world who have taken ill from COVID-19 have mild symptoms with fever and cough,” Kilmer said his message Monday. “However, a small percentage of cases are severe and can lead to pneumonia, particularly in elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions.”

“Congress is working to see that the federal government has the resources needed to combat this virus and keep Americans safe,” he added. “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m fighting to advance a robust emergency funding package that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis by advocating for funding to ensure that vaccines, once developed, are affordable and available to all who need them; and, that state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

“I anticipate that Congress will advance this supplemental funding bill this week,” Kilmer wrote.

Kilmer said local employers have told him they have already endured a financial loss from the outbreak.

“For example, some of our region’s shellfish growers and manufacturers that export substantially to China have taken a big hit. With that in mind, I’ve been leading an effort in Congress in hopes of making special Small Business Administration loans available for small businesses impacted by the outbreak,” Kilmer said. “Stay tuned.”