Over the last few weeks I’ve talked to countless people throughout Utah and across the nation about the troubles that they have encountered; about the profound sadness that the American people are experiencing right now; about the frustrations that they have.
This is something that we’ve never seen in this country. Not on this scale, not during our lifetimes. My thoughts and prayers go out to my fellow Utahns and my fellow Americans as they’re struggling to make ends meet – whether it’s figuring out how to make payroll, or keep food on the table at home, or a combination of both, as it is for so many. I’m mindful of them; and of all the difficulty that the American people are going through right now.
We’ve seen health care providers working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We’ve seen farmers, truck drivers, grocery store employees, and pharmacists working to make sure that we continue to have access to the things we need in order to live.
We see parents working from home, and simultaneously homeschooling their children.
And yet, Congress is in recess.
This is simply unacceptable. If COVID-19 requires Congress to act, then it requires Congress to convene.
The upcoming challenges are far too numerous, onerous, and complex to leave up to just a few staff meetings behind closed doors.
We’ve got issues involving testing, masks, health care policy, liability, leave, regulatory reform, immigration, and the judicial system, just to name a few. All of these things require serious legislative action. We can’t give those issues the attention that they deserve simply by sitting in our respective homes.
Utahns have already been doing so much that the rest of the nation can learn from. Whether it is the collaborative efforts between Silicon Slopes and the Utah Department of Health, the work being done by Derek Miller and the Utah Economic Response Task Force or the strong shop local spirit that resides in Utah, we have so much to share.
I plan to share these ideas, and more, with President Trump’s Congressional Economic Task Force. But I want to hear even more of your ideas and suggestions. We’ve created an “Economic Recovery Submissions” page on our website, lee.senate.gov, where you can go to share your ideas.
Already, Dustin Frandesen from Moab has shared how his overnight lodging rental business is particularly suited to a Coronavirus conscious world. Guests check in through a mobile app, have no contact with employees, and can enjoy safe outdoor activities. Dustin wants to get his business up and running again.
So does Corbet Austin. Corbet oversees operations at a bowling ball manufacturing facility in Brigham City. He believes if bowlers were properly spaced out across bowling centers and employees made a concerted effort to sterilize equipment, bowling centers could reopen. Reopening bowling centers would allow for Corbet and his team to keep production levels up and continue to support the local, and national, economy.
These are just some of the stories Utah businesses are sharing with us and I want to hear more.
We are going to beat this virus and our economy is going to come back stronger than ever. I look forward to working with each of you to make sure that happens.