O’Halleran Continues COVID-19 Outreach with Arizona Mayors, VA Leadership

March 30, 2020
Press Release

VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK—This weekend, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) hosted two conference calls with northern Arizona mayors and the Northern Arizona VA Healthcare System to provide updates on the federal government’s recently passed CARES Act, legislation to address the negative effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and to hear from Arizona stakeholders about what will still need to be addressed in forthcoming legislation. Today, he released the following statement:

“This weekend, I spoke to the mayors of Flagstaff, Camp Verde, Winslow, Sedona, Williams, Pinetop-Lakeside, Springerville, and Fredonia, as well as leadership at the Northern Arizona VA Healthcare System, to tell them about new resources available to their communities and to hear about their experiences dealing with the coronavirus thus far.

“Over two productive conversations, we discussed what supplies are needed at northern Arizona hospitals and VA facilities, and how we can best serve our brave veterans, no matter where they are throughout the state. We also discussed the number of ventilators and beds available at each health care location, expanded telehealth capacity, necessary coordination with the Navajo Nation, how we will secure much-needed personal protective equipment for first responders, reimbursements for municipalities purchasing equipment, lack of food assistance in certain rural areas, and concerns about the possible need to transport patients to more metropolitan areas for care.

“There are many more calls that will need to be had, but I am committed to keeping these lines of communication open and free-flowing. I will be staying in touch with our hardworking mayors and hosting an additional call with those in the southern part of the First District later this week. I plan to arrange calls with additional area VA systems to hear about the struggles they are experiencing as well.

“On Friday, the House and Senate passed the CARES Act, a new, comprehensive legislative package to address the negative economic effects of the coronavirus by incorporating new funding for unemployment, food assistance, small business loans, and direct aid to struggling families. Our bill has now been signed into law by the president.

“I will continue working with state and local elected officials, Arizona VA leadership, and tribal communities to ensure that I remain informed on what is missing, and what still must be addressed in the next legislative package.”  

Information on the CARES Act is available, here, and earlier COVID-19 legislative packages here and here.