Sen. Mitch McConnell visits Eastern Kentucky, talks about CARES ACT

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 1:59 PM EDT
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(WYMT) - Senate Majority Mitch McConnell arrived at Pikeville Medical Center Thursday to discuss the importance of healthcare workers and the CARES ACT. The Pikeville Medical Center has received nearly 45 million dollars from legislation.

The Senator discussed a COVID-19 vaccine and emphasized the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing. Senator McConnell also mentioned a second relief package is being discussed, however, it is still being debated in the house.

“Regretfully we are in a much more partisan place unfortunately then we were in March and April. I can’t tell you today that we are going to reach an agreement on another rescue package but here’s what I do think I think we need another one. I think the country needs another one. "

McConnell will speak at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night in a pre-recorded speech.

" I’m gonna talk not only about what we’ve accomplished the last four years but what would happen if we turn the entire government over to the Democrats. What would happen to the country higher taxes, more regulation, new states like making the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico states,” said McConnell.

The Senator also discussing the controversy over the post office and the legitimacy of mail-in voting.

“Everybody needs to rest easy. The post office is going to be fine. If it needs more money we will give them more money,” said McConnell. “I think because of the coronavirus there will be more people in our state vote by mail and I want to reassure them all that vote will be counted it’s OK to drop your ballot into the mail if you feel uncomfortable going to the polls.”

After leaving Pikeville Medical Center, McConnell traveled to Highlands ARH Medical Center in Prestonsburg.

During his news conference there, he discussed the funding from the CARES Act which gave Highlands ARH Hospital $16 million.

“Absolutely critical to our healthcare, and they were of course told to give up their elective surgery which sent their red line, sent them right into the red and this propped them up and helped them get through it and now we have a bright way forward,” said McConnell.

Senator McConnell stressed it was especially important to financially help hospitals as elective surgeries were canceled for months.

”All of a sudden they were out of the elective surgery business creating two problems. Number one, red ink for the hospital. Number two, delayed health care for those who had none COVID related health care needs that went unmet during that period, so we knew they needed a significant slug of money all over the country,” said McConnell.

After he thanked healthcare workers, Senator McConnell assured them a COVID-19 vaccine is coming. He said projections are for later this year or early next year.

“We’re in one heck of a hurry to get one or more vaccines. We are pouring money into testing, treatment, and vaccines pouring money into it,” said McConnell.

His day ended in Johnson County at Eastern Kentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institue.

Senator McConnell praised eKAMI for helping train laid-off coal mines and preparing them for employment that exists across the region and state. He also praised them for being innovative during the pandemic by 3D printing face shields.

”A lot of people commute every day in order to use the skills they’ve been taught here and one of the things this company did that I was really proud of was they made shields that they hospital people need to use during the pandemic, said McConnell. “Everybody is just trying to pitch in and get us through this pandemic including this wonderful facility here.”

Senator McConnell also discussed if their will be another economic relief package. He says he wants a one trillion dollar bill to pass.

“What I think the whole country needs is one more rescue package focused on kids in school, jobs, healthcare unemployment. Unemployment is needed now more than ever,” said McConnell.

He also told WYMT, discussions are at a stalemate as the election approaches.

“Unfortunately I can’t announce the day that we have a deal. The discussions have become much more partisan as we’ve gotten closer to the election and I’m hopeful that we’ll get there because the coronavirus doesn’t care about the American election. The American people need us they need us now and we ought to step up and help them,” said McConnell.

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