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Cal Cunningham joined Tim Boyum on Capital Tonight Tuesday evening after releasing his priorities for the federal COVID-19 response.
As communities around the state and country begin to reopen, Cal called for a strong testing regime and contact tracing, as well as personal protective equipment, to help communities open safely and with peace of mind.
Since the stay-at-home orders took effect, Cal has worked to “take the same spirit of [his] campaign online,” and has continued to listen to North Carolinians through virtual town halls and conversations. Those conversations are reflected in the priorities he released on how to address both the public health and economic challenges North Carolina is facing due to the coronavirus pandemic:
“I’m hearing from a lot of folks about the loss of jobs, the economic dislocation, the need for a strong safety net, health care, the importance of expanding Medicaid, getting people back to work, supporting those who are unemployed…This is drawn from North Carolina conversations, and is reflective of what is top off mind for the folks I’m talking to.”
Knowing that North Carolina local government leaders who are having a hard time putting together budgets, Cal also called for state and local aid to help frontline workers who are providing critical services at this time and to protect public education and teachers from cuts and layoffs.
Cal emphasized the urgent need for the Senate to act. While many small businesses owners tell Cal they are still struggling to get access to loans, money from the Paycheck Protection Program has “ended up in the wrong hands” and minority-owned businesses “have been cut out of the process.” That’s part of why Cal has repeatedly stressed the need for robust accountability and oversight of how money is being spent.
As North Carolina and the country grapple with these challenges, Cal will bring to Washington the same leadership lessons and good judgment he learned while in the Army Reserves: “I think it’s incumbent on me to lay out those priorities, and that’s exactly what we’re doing today.”