AUDIO: Haaland Releases Audio from Coronavirus Telephone Town Hall

March 20, 2020
Press Release

Albuquerque, N.M. – After hosting a telephone town hall to connect constituents with public health officials on Tuesday, Congresswoman Deb Haaland released the audio, so all members of the public have access to the information and the Q&A session. The release is part of Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s commitment to ensuring everyone has access to up-to-date and accurate information during this public health crisis.

During Haaland's Coronavirus Telephone Town Hall on Tuesday, Haaland provided information on Congressional action to keep families safe and healthy. Residents were then able to get answers to their questions from Dr. Daniel Sosin , Medical Epidemiologist with the Emerging Infections Program at the New Mexico Department of Health and Dr. Nestor Sosa, Division Chief for Infectious Diseases at UNM Hospital. All information included in the telephone town hall was current as of March 17, 2020.

>>>AUDIO: Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s Telephone Town Hall, Tuesday, March 17, 2020

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy. Though the congressional updates from the call are fluid and have changed, I wanted to make sure New Mexicans had access to the information from the call so they can protect themselves and their families,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.

This month, Congress passed and the President signed into law a$8.3 billion emergency coronavirus spending package that should deliver $6 million to New Mexico. That package – consisting entirely of new funds – included support for state and local health agencies, vaccine and treatment development, and loans for affected small businesses to lessen the economic blow of this public health emergency. 

Haaland also supported the now enacted, Families First Coronavirus Response Act that includes provisions from the bill that Haaland and Democratic lawmakers introduced to ensure emergency food assistance is available amid the growing coronavirus outbreak. Haaland played a pivotal role ensuring Tribes were not left behind from emergency programs and measures. The final package specifically:

  • Provides paid leave; 
  • Establishes free coronavirus testing;
  • Supports strong unemployment benefits; 
  • Expands food assistance for vulnerable children and families;
  • Protects frontline health workers; 
  • Provides additional funding to states for the ongoing economic consequences of the pandemic;
  • Protects home-delivered meals, personal care, and health services for seniors and individuals with disabilities; and
  • Ensures Tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health service providers to tribes are included and eligible for emergency funding and programs.

In a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing, Haaland pressed Administration officials on the lack of preparedness and President Trump’s inappropriate response to the coronavirus outbreak. Since coronavirus cases were confirmed in New Mexico, Haaland has remained in close contact with the New Mexico Department of Health, City of Albuquerque, and Centers for Disease Control.