Congressman Kustoff speaks on pandemic response, details of HEALS Act

JACKSON, Tenn. — How do state leaders feel Tennessee is handling the COVID-19 pandemic? WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Josh Robinson sat down with Congressman David Kustoff, who says decisions should be left to local leaders.

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Tough decisions continue to come as we are about to enter our 5th month of the pandemic.

“I think Governor Lee has done a good job making some tough decisions,” Kustoff said.

One way leaders want to help is the Senate Republicans HEALS Act, the 5th relief package during the pandemic. But how is this act specifically going to help those here in West Tennessee?

“In this bill there’s also money being appropriated for schools,” Kustoff said. “So they can adequately supply testing for students, for teachers for staff. And that’s a big deal.”

That includes K-12, community colleges and universities.

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The unemployment benefit would drop from $600 to $200, and that comes after hearing complaints from businesses across the country and here in West Tennessee, who say they couldn’t get employees back to work because they were making more money not working.

“I think that defies common sense. Most people, most reasonable people, recognize that’s not rational, that’s not how we need to do things,” Kustoff said.

Farmers here in West Tennessee will also get some help if the HEALS Act passes. There is $20 billion set aside specifically for farmers.

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“Frankly we realize we’re all impacted by that because we all eat. We’re all fed by America’s farmers,” Kustoff said.

We also asked if he thinks there should be a statewide or nationwide mandate for masks.

“I think the issue on masks is best left to the local leaders. The city mayors and to the county mayors,” Kustoff said.

Kustoff says he also hopes schools and sports will be on schedule to start soon.

Currently, there’s no definite timeline on when the HEALS Act would pass.

Categories: COVID-19 Updates, Local News, News