CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - 5th District Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman hosted a telephone town hall Thursday to answer questions constituents in central Virginia have about Washington’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He discussed the Coronavirus Care, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act which passed the Senate with bipartisan support Wednesday night.
“This bill takes some of the steps we need to address the crisis, and I hope, as a community, we can take steps to defeat this disease,” Riggleman said.
Riggleman says the CARES Act is a start to help families and small businesses survive the financial fallout of the healthcare crisis. He hopes the federal government can streamline the process for small businesses in need of financial assistance.
“The first thing I’d do on the business side is ensure all loan holders for businesses are protected for forced closures and things of that nature,” Riggleman said. “Also, we need more flexibility for businesses to receive lines of credits through their financial institutions.”
The congressman says President Donald Trump’s hope to reopen the country to business by Easter doesn’t look likely.
“There’s a real difference between hope and will,” Riggleman said. “We’re going to listen to our medical professionals going forward and try to mitigate whatever damage we have to each region of the country and see what economically we can do to help.”
Riggleman also credits the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University for quickly developing in-house tests for the coronavirus. He says that’s leading to faster and better protocols and testing.