First District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry held a Telephone Town Hall to talk about what officials in federal government are doing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was joined by Dr. Jeffrey Gold, the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Leon Milobar of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Fortenberry said the federal government is concentrating on three goals: protect health care system, protect individuals and families, and help small businesses. He said that the whole country is going through a lot of trauma and that there is still a little ways to go to turn the corner of the virus.

The health care system has called for social distancing,  which is the reasoning behind closings and isolation. The congressman said that this distancing has shown progress in slowing the spread, and that distancing is a great opportunity in Nebraska to stop the spread.

The Federal government is giving equipment to those sickest, and move supplies quickly to make sure health care system across the country is ready. Fortenberry also said that individuals and families will be getting a check in about three weeks from the COVID-19 stimulus bill passed last week.

Fortenberry also said that small businesses will be helped by the stimulus, ‘buying time’ to find a cure and hold up the economy.

Gold said there are now over 1 million confirmed cases around the world. In the U.S., we are at around 236,000 and increasing by 15-25,000 a day, centered mainly on the coastal cities.

In Nebraska, Gold said, we are fortunate due to a wide spread population density and a combination of urban and rural population. Dr. Gold also said that The University of Nebraska Medical Center is involved in researching the virus for a cure, how it spreads, and how to test for it.

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