Important COVID-19 Updates

Check back here regularly to find out what's going with COVID-19 in West Hartford

Senate Republicans' "Loyal-Opposition" Keeps Gov. Lamont in Check


CT Senate Republicans have not been shy about raising concerns over certain elements of Governor Ned Lamont's coronavirus response. We've called out the governor for overreaching, we've identified major issues residents are struggling with, and we've contributed ideas to improve our state's response efforts. 
 
While some have criticized us for speaking up, others have recognized the importance of keeping the governor's extreme executive powers in check during a public health crisis when transparency and public input can all too easily fall by the wayside.
 
A recent editorial in The Day of New London recognized the efforts of our leader, Senator Len Fasano: 
 
The Senate minority leader took hits for challenging a governor amid a crisis. I think Fasano was doing exactly what he should have been doing.
 
The executive powers handed the governor during a public health emergency are immense, circumventing the normal checks and balances our system of representative government provide. As arguably the top elected Republican leader in the state — Democrats control every statewide office, the state legislature, the two U.S. Senate seats and all five congressional seats — Fasano has a special responsibility to serve as a brake on Lamont’s broad powers.

 

And he has done so respectively.
 
-- The Day: "Fasano serving his loyal-opposition role to the end"
 
We will continue to serve the role of "loyal-opposition" when the state's checks and balances are out of whack. 
 
As The Day opines, "having a Republican leader — responsibly — nudge the Democratic governor in favor of reviving business could help balance the debate."
 
We will continue to strive to offer that balance, make your voices heard and share the perspectives of workers, small business owners, and middle-class families who are all too often ignored by those in power. You all deserve to have a voice at the table.

Since Friday, the Trump Administration has taken the following actions in response to the coronavirus epidemic:
 

  • President Trump met with CEO’s from the oil and gas industry to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on America’s energy sector (Transcript HERE).
  • The CDC issued a recommendation regarding the use of cloth face coverings, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission (Click here).
  • More than 17,500 loans valued at over $5.4 billion were approved on the first day of the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • President Trump spoke by telephone with commissioners of major league sports to discuss the all-of-America response to COVID-19. The President recognized the good work being done by many teams and players to care for their communities, workforces, and fan bases across the Nation.
  • President Trump declared major disasters in New HampshireIndianaWest VirginiaArkansasArizonaDelawareMaineNebraskaNevadaOregonSouth DakotaUtahWisconsinMississippiOklahoma, and New Mexico.   

 
Today, members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a press briefing at 5:00pm ET.
 
Additional Guidance (as of 4.5, 5:30pm):

  • WH - Memorandum on Allocating Certain Scarce or Threatened Health and Medical Resources to Domestic Use (Click here)
  • WH - Statement from the President Regarding the Defense Production Act (Click here)
  • HHS - Secretary Azar Statement on New Defense Production Act Orders (Click here)
  • HHS - Secretary Azar Statement on New CDC Face Covering Guidance (Click here)
  • CDC - Cloth Face Coverings: Questions and Answers (Click here)
  • CDC - Information for Healthcare Professionals: COVID-19 and Underlying Conditions (Click here)
  • SBA - SBA Clarifies Eligibility of Faith-Based Organizations to Participate in Paycheck Protection and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Programs (Click here)
  • DHS - Coast Guard oversees disembarkation of 250,000 from cruise ships to reduce risks under COVID-19 emergency, medevac’d 31 (Click here)
  • HUD - During Coronavirus Outbreak, Businesses Within Opportunity Zones Are Stepping Up to Serve Their Communities (Click here)
  • HUD - Communities Provide Special Care for Homeless Populations Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak (Click here)
  • DOL - U.S. Department Of Labor Issues Guidance for Respirators Certified under Other Countries’ Standards During COVID-19 Pandemic (Click here)
  • DOL - U.S. Department Of Labor Publishes Guidance on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (Click here)
  • DOJ - Department of Justice Issues Business Review Letter to Medical Supplies Distributors Supporting Project Airbridge Under Expedited Procedure for COVID-19 Pandemic Response (Click here)
  • ED - Updated Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (Click here)
  • DOD - DOD Continually Examines, Modifies COVID-19 Response (Click here)



HIGHLIGHTS | President Trump Updates Americans on Coronavirus Response Efforts
________________________________

MESSAGE OF FAITH FOR ALL AMERICANS
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “In closing, I also want to note today is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week for Christians in America and all around the world.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We may be apart, but we can use this time to turn to reflection and prayer and our own personal relationship with God. I would ask that all Americans pray for the heroic doctors and nurses, for the truck drivers and grocery store workers, and for everyone fighting this battle.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Most of all, I would like ask for your prayers for the families who have lost loved ones. Ask God to comfort them in their hour of grief, a great hour of grief for our nation, for the world.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “With the faith of our families, and the spirit of our people, and the Grace of our God, we will endure, we will overcome, we will prevail. We have learned so much. We will be stronger than ever.”

AMERICAN HEROES ON THE FRONT LINES
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We have the best doctors, the best military leaders, and the best logistics professionals anywhere in the world.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “In the days ahead, America will endure the peak of this terrible pandemic, our warriors in this life-and-death battle are the incredible doctors and nurses and health care workers on the front line of the fight. We pledge to them our eternal gratitude and everlasting support. They make all of us very proud.”

DEPLOYING RESOURCES ACROSS THE COUNTRY
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “50 states and territories have now been approved for major disaster declarations.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We’ll have deployed over 3,000 military and public health professionals to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and other parts of our country.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We have 600 [ventilators] to Illinois, we have 100 to Massachusetts, we have 300 to Michigan, we have 200 to Louisiana, we have 500 ventilators, 500, going to New Jersey and this is being done by FEMA, being delivered by FEMA.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We’re also establishing a federal medical station in the Washington, D.C. area to help Washington, D.C.”

SUPPORT FOR NEW YORK
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Today, every patriotic American heart beats in solidarity with the incredible people of New York and New Jersey.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “In New York, the first time where the deaths were less from the previous day. That’s the first drop so far. So maybe that’s a good sign.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers, New York City's Javits Center is now one of the largest hospitals in the United States. It’s designated for treatment of the virus, patients, and staff by hundreds of federal medical personnel deployed from two Army hospital units.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The USNS Comfort, which is in New York – there’s been a lot of publicity about that coming in. That was not supposed to be for the virus at all, under any circumstances. But it looks like more and more we’re going to be using it for that.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Tomorrow, we’ll deliver an additional 600,000 N95 masks to New York City to take care of the needs of the public hospital system.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We will also be delivering another 200,000 N95 masks to Suffolk County, where they need it very badly.”

VA HOSPITALS
SECRETARY WILKIE: “I have ordered our veterans hospitals to begin preparing more than 1500 beds to make them available both at the ICU and the acute-care level to the states and localities across the country.”
SECRETARY WILKIE: “As a result of that, we have opened up approximately 100 beds in the metropolitan New York area.”
SECRETARY WILKIE: “We will be informing the Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, tomorrow that we will give him access to our V.A. Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana to come to the aid of the people of the Pelican State.”
SECRETARY WILKIE: “I have also given instructions to initiate the fourth mission in Michigan. We will be providing the people of Michigan access to hospital beds in both in Ann Arbor and in Detroit.”

ECONOMIC RELIEF
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “My administration is rapidly implementing the largest emergency economic relief package in American history, you've seen what has been happening. Billions of dollars in small business loans have already been processed through paycheck protection programs.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “It’s all about jobs, want you to keep your jobs, give small business funding to keep the workers on the payroll, and we are sending direct cash payments to millions of Americans and rushing aid to the hardest hit industries.”

SUPPLIES OF CRITICAL MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Since last Sunday, cargo planes have delivered almost – listen to this – 300 million gloves, almost 8 million masks, and 3 million gowns. And many more fully loaded cargo planes are right now on the way.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “Governor Inslee today announced that they were sending 400 ventilators back to the strategic national stockpile, and those will be deployed at the point of need.”
REAR ADM. JOHN POLOWCZYK: “The air bridge, we had three additional flights come in today, bringing a million gowns, 2.8 million N95 masks, 2.8 million surgical masks, 11.8 million gloves, 18.6 thousand gowns on three flights. And that material will be pushed out across the nation, and delivered to hospitals, nursing homes across the country.”

TESTING AND THERAPEUTICS
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I can report today that the United States has now tested and given results, gotten results of 1.67 million people, that’s far more than any other country’s been able to do.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “Governor Whitmer and I spoke about a new program in Detroit that will make hydrochloroquine available for 3,000 patients through the Henry Ford Hospital.”

Message from Lee Gold 

NEW: Feds approve CT's request for Disaster Loan Assistance for Small Businesses

Plus Important Info for Workers

 

DISASTER LOANS


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved CT's request asking the federal agency to issue a declaration that will enable Connecticut’s small business owners to receive economic injury disaster loans. Small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Connecticut that have been negatively impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak are now eligible for disaster relief loans of up to $2 million from the SBA.

Small businesses can learn more about the program and apply for financial assistance at www.sba.gov/disaster or call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955.

Small businesses with questions about this SBA loan program or other assistance provided at the state-level can call 860-500-2333 to speak directly with a Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) representative. 


How to Apply For A Disaster Loan
Visit the SBA website on Disaster Loans here. 

The Three-Step Process: Disaster Loans
The Three-Step Process: Disaster Loans (en Espanol)
 


TAX FILING DEADLINES

Also of note for businesses, The CT Department of Revenue Services has extended filing deadlines for certain annual state business tax returns. More on that here: https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/News---Press-Releases/2020/2020-Press-Releases/Effective-Immediately-DRS-Extends-Filing-Deadline-for-Certain-Annual-State-Business-Tax-Returns


ASSISTANCE FOR WORKERS
 
The CT Department of Labor has more information on unemployment benefits and other frequently asked questions related to COVID-19 on their website at www.ctdol.state.ct.us/DOLCOVIDFAQ.PDF or visit filectui.com. This includes information for workers and information employers can share with their employees. 
 
 
For the most up to date information on Connecticut’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and resources visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

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