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3.12.20

Thom Tillis And Mitch McConnell Left For Weekend Without Passing Legislation To Make Testing Free, Ensure Support For North Carolinians

Cal Cunningham Has Called For Free Testing, Paid Emergency Leave & Food Assistance

Tillis Claims “The President Has Taken Every Step He Can” To Keep Americans Safe

RALEIGH, NC – Senator Thom Tillis and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell left for the weekend without passing critical legislation that would ensure free testing, paid emergency leave, and food assistance.

Amid inaction in Congress and a supply shortage of testing supplies from the CDC in North Carolina and across the country, the President isn’t backing off cuts to the CDC budget. But when asked about the president’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, Thom Tillis claimed “the President has taken every step he can to help the safety of the people in the United States.” 

North Carolinians can’t wait for federal action, and they can’t trust a Senator who doesn’t hold the Administration accountable during a public health crisis.

Cal Cunningham released the following priorities earlier this week to combat the virus, keep Americans safe, and provide economic relief for workers. And earlier today, Cal called on Congress to quickly pass a package that makes testing free and provides emergency family leave and food assistance to families. 

ACCESS TO FREE TESTING AND AFFORDABLE TREATMENT: We know that this situation is made worse by the lack of individuals with health insurance. That is why, in the long term, it is critical to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, including by adding a public option and by North Carolina expanding Medicaid to cover an additional 600,000 residents. In the immediate term, Cal supports making testing free and ensuring that cost is not a barrier to treatment for anyone who becomes infected.

EMERGENCY READINESS, INCLUDING FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS: We also need to ensure our response meets demands — that means making sure not only that our emergency response facilities are prepared to take on surges in demand, but also that workers on the frontlines and first responders have the protective equipment to stay healthy themselves.

EMERGENCY SICK LEAVE: As people are encouraged to stay home when they feel sick, Cal believes we ought to make sure they have the ability to do so, without being punished. Many workers, particularly hourly wage earners, do not have the ability to telecommute, and do not have paid sick leave. That means emergency paid sick and family leave for those who feel sick or may be impacted by quarantine.