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7.23.20

Thom Tillis’ “Plan” To Combat Coronavirus Blatantly Ignores Many Critical Needs Of North Carolinians

Three Glaring Policies That Are MIA: Health Care, Unemployment Insurance, State & Local Funding

RALEIGH, NC — Thom Tillis released a “plan” today to “protect the health and well-being of North Carolinians.” The problem is — it doesn’t actually offer any solutions for providing people with health care, extended unemployment insurance, or state and local governments the funding they desperately need to relieve budget shortfalls and continue essential public services. 

When millions have lost their health insurance and remain out of work during a global pandemic, Thom Tillis’ plan fundamentally fails to take action on many of the most basic needs of the people of North Carolina. A Families U.S.A. report revealed that 238,000 North Carolinians became uninsured due to the coronavirus pandemic, one out of every five non-elderly adults. And in states like North Carolina that have not expanded Medicaid — the percentage of laid-off workers that became uninsured nearly doubled. Still, Thom Tillis has no plan to ensure North Carolinians have access to care during a global pandemic. 

And as the federal unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of the month and a gap in benefits is “now unavoidable,” Tillis offers no solution for North Carolina families who are wondering how they will pay the bills come the first of the month, as they’ll see their benefits slashed nearly 80 percent without an extension from the federal government. 

On top of that, his plan doesn’t mention providing aid for state and local governments that are experiencing extreme budget shortfalls and pleading for help from Washington so that they can keep workers on the payroll and keep their communities safe. 

This is no surprise considering Tillis: 

But it is indefensible for a Senator to be so out of touch with the needs of his constituents during a generation-shaping crisis. 

“Has Senator Tillis read any local news coverage lately?” said Kate Frauenfelder, a spokeswoman for Cal Cunningham’s campaign. “If he had, he would know this plan is sorely lacking many of the critical policies that North Carolinians need in this time of crisis. His failed record left us unprepared to combat the pandemic, and his failure to lead continues to hurt North Carolina.” 

Cal Cunningham released a set of priorities in May on key issues, including testing and PPE, getting people back to work, building a strong safety net, addressing the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, state and local aid, and increased oversight and accountability.