As this public health and economic crisis continues to touch every corner of the East Bay and impact all facets of our life, I wanted to provide you all with an update on what is happening in Washington and in our communities.
During these trying times, my top priority is being available for you. My staff and I are doing our best to share information on new resources as it becomes available and work with local leaders to get people the relief they need now. I’ve been hosting weekly Facebook Live Q&As with doctors and public health experts from across the Bay Area to answer your questions about COVID-19 and provide you with unbiased, factual information to make informed decisions for you and your family. So far I’ve spoken to Dr. Stephen Lockhart from Sutter Health, Dr. Bonnie Maldonado of Stanford Medicine, Colleen Chawla of Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, and Dr. Abayomi Jones from Cal State East Bay. If you’re interested in rewatching any of my conversations, you can check them out below:
- March 26th, Facebook Live Q&A with Dr. Stephen Lockhart
- April 2nd, Facebook Live Q&A with Dr. Bonnie Maldonado, Part I
- April 2nd, Facebook Live Q&A with Dr. Bonnie Maldonado, Part II
- April 9th, Facebook Live Q&A with Colleen Chawla
- April 16th, Facebook Live Q&A with Dr. Abayomi Jones
The severity of this crisis demands a coordinated effort among government leaders. I’ve held town halls with elected officials from both the east and west sides of California’s Fifteenth Congressional District to learn what they’re hearing on the ground, what our communities need most at this time, and how we can best plan for future challenges. I have been providing them regular updates on the work that is being done in Washington and how I am fighting for more provisions for those living in the East Bay. I’ve also hosted town halls and meetings with local hospitals, small businesses, our local transit authority and more. If you or your organization wants to speak with me, please let me or my staff know.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, our $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, included provisions to bolster our health care system, expand unemployment benefits, support small businesses, aid embattled states and localities, and send direct payments to American households. Each day, a new resource made available under the CARES Act is shared on my Facebook page. You can also view some of these resources below.
As the relief from the CARES Act is being distributed, however, we are learning it will be nowhere near enough. Hospitals continue to lack proper protective equipment, student borrowers are struggling in our besieged economy, and the direct payments don’t go nearly as far for those living in the Bay Area as they do in other parts of the country. I penned an op-ed in East Bay Times about what more we must do to rise to this challenge and ensure Americans have what they need to stay alive and afloat through these exceptionally trying times. You can also watch me discuss this with Gasia Mikaelian on KTVU Fox 2 News here.
We owe a debt of gratitude to all the heroes on the frontlines of this pandemic. The Department of Health and Human Services issued the first $30 billion out of $100 billion to support hospitals in the East Bay and across the country. Sutter Health Eden Medical Center, Tenet Health, Stanford Healthcare Valley Care, Washington Hospital Healthcare System, and St. Rose Hospital received funding to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to ensure uninsured Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19.
The only way we’ll get through this is together. I know these times are difficult, but we are resilient people. It’s up to all of us to contain the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe. Please visit my website or contact my East Bay office at (510) 370-3322 if we can be of service in any way. To stay connected, join me on Twitter @RepSwalwell, and Facebook.
Member of Congress