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As communities continue to social distance and do their part to flatten the curve of COVID-19, Cal Cunningham’s campaign for U.S. Senate is adapting to this new normal. Spectrum News reports that “Cunningham has participated in more than a dozen virtual town halls.”
Reporter Kevin Frey attended a recent meeting with Cumberland County Democrats where Cal “touched on topics ranging from healthcare to Citizens United, while encouraging people on the call to get involved with the campaign.”
In addition to meeting with North Carolina voters through video conferencing, Cal has been outlining ways he would address the coronavirus pandemic, including his policy priorities for expanding high-speed broadband in rural communities across North Carolina. Read his op-ed on the topic for the state’s McClatchy newspapers.
Cal understands that “[e]ven though it’s an extraordinary time, the work goes on.”
Spectrum News: N.C. U.S. Senate Campaigns Adapt to Social Distancing
By Kevin Frey – April 6, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak in the United States began to ramp up just as the general election in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race was getting underway.
Now the virus is forcing the candidates – Republican incumbent Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham – to adapt, each camp adopting a socially-distanced approach to voter outreach.
So far, Cunningham has participated in more than a dozen virtual town halls, according to his campaign.
“Even though it’s an extraordinary time, the work goes on,” Cunningham told participants in a recent event hosted by the Cumberland County Democrats.
The event took place on Zoom, the video chat platform. He touched on topics ranging from healthcare to Citizens United, while encouraging people on the call to get involved with the campaign.
In any other year, a Senate candidate might be hitting the road right about now, hosting in-person meet-and-greets across the state. A Cunningham spokesman said they just wrapped up some of those events and had more planned for the months ahead.
However, safety restrictions due to the coronavirus make in-person gatherings impossible.
“I think this will be the normal for the time being,” Cunningham said of his campaign’s virtual approach.
News & Observer: Cal Cunningham: COVID-19 underscores a rural NC need
By Cal Cunningham – April 6, 2020
In the Army, we address a crisis by identifying critical objectives, planning a response, marshaling resources and communicating the plan clearly. The threat of COVID-19 demands that same leadership and good judgement, not only as our country addresses the health and economic impacts of this pandemic, but also as we adjust to the way it has upended the way we live.
Right now, many employees around North Carolina are working from home. Students, mine included, are connecting with teachers online to continue learning. To prevent unnecessary travel to and traffic at our medical centers and hospitals, many are getting checkups via telemedicine appointments. Those struggling are also using the internet to connect with mental health professionals to cope during this traumatic time for many families.
But too many can’t do these things because our country hasn’t kept up with the connectivity needs of every community. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in 2018, about half of North Carolina households didn’t have high-speed broadband because of cost barriers or because they didn’t have the skills or a device to use it. In the same year, more than a quarter of a million households didn’t have access to broadband. And we know these numbers may even be an underestimate, and may not account for places with slow speeds.
This public health crisis will require additional federal action, and when Congress reconvenes, we must prioritize ensuring that rural communities are getting the infrastructure investment they need — including high-speed broadband.