Home Coronavirus Video: Sen. Mark Warner Speaks to Reporters on Coronavirus, Says “I don’t...

Video: Sen. Mark Warner Speaks to Reporters on Coronavirus, Says “I don’t think we’re over-exaggerating this”

"There is no question we will [get through this]...in a more efficient, effective and less harmful manner if we take strong and decisive action now."

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See below for video of Sen. Mark Warner, yesterday, speaking to reporters about the Coronavirus and how we’re going to respond from Virginia and the federal government standpoints. According to Sen. Warner:

  • As of yesterday, there were “roughly” 17 Coronavirus cases in Virginia, but “we should all expect these numbers to increase, and I believe probably dramatically increase, as more testing equipment gets into the marketplace.”
  • “After this crisis is over, the failure of the federal government to have adequate preparations for having these tests prepared and learning from why Korea is able to put out 200,000 tests and we are at a much smaller number, needs to be investigated.”
  • “We need more tests out into the marketplace in a way that people who present can get tested, and that will result in a higher number of confirmed cases.”
  • “In terms of grappling with immediate healthcare costs, while there has been some improvement with individuals who have insurance with major insurance companies saying they’re waiving co-payment on the tests, that’s a step in the right direction. That does not deal, though, with folks that are uninsured…independent contractors…One of things we need to make sure in terms of additional federal relief… we increase the federal dollar share on Medicaid…the federal government needs to step in and assist states.”
  • On the economy, Warner is “very concerned that the president’s initial comments… seemed a bit off the mark.” According to Warner, the tools Trump was suggesting would not “going to provide the targeted financial relief to the universes of people who are most affected…folks who have the illness or who are quarantining on their own; if you’re in that two-week quarantine period, you should not lose your job or pay…[we need to be] shoring up unemployment benefits…Medicaid support…Title 1 kids get…nutritional support…Also, we need immediate relief as well to those industries…oftentimes service workers…Any targeted relief to the industries should be passed through directly to the workers…If you’ve been laid off [or] furloughed and you can’t meet your rent or mortgage, we’ve got to make sure you’re not put out of your home, you’re not dinged by the credit rating agencies.”
  • “Clearly, the markets voted on how they viewed the president’s efforts [Wednesday] night with a giant ‘thumbs-down‘…We have to be prepared as this economic duress spreads…on how we can not have the long-term economic damage that will take place in a much shorter timeframe than even we saw in 2008-2009.”
  • “I do believe it’s time for the president to declare a national emergency…it is timely and appropriate.”
  • We will get through this, there is no question we will, but we will get through it in a more efficient, effective and less harmful manner if we take strong and decisive action now.”
  • “I think the Congress should NOT close down…we need to be here.”
  • I don’t think we’re over-exaggerating this…There are probably a lot of people infected right now who don’t know it…It is much more dangerous than the flu.”
  • This situation makes it clear that “broadband is a necessity.” We need “free wifi hot spots…stopgap relief, particularly for poorer families, that might allow their kids to have some access so they don’t fall farther behind.”
  • “I want the president to do well…I worry both in terms of his tone, calling this a foreign virus…and I really question the rationale on why you pick to bar part of Europe and yet not bar the UK, which has the largest international gateway airport around at Heathrow in London.” Also, Trump gave “no heads-up” to our European allies.