Senator Rick Scott’s Week in Review

Senator Rick Scott released the first step of his 60 Day “Let’s Get Back to Work” plan. This plan outlines the roles and responsibilities of government, the private sector and individuals necessary to get Florida and the nation back to work.

Senator Rick Scott said, “As we bend the curve and stem the spread of the Coronavirus, we need to lay out the roles and responsibilities of government, the private sector and individuals that will help our country get back to a ‘new normal.’ Every American will play a part in helping our state and our country recover from the economic devastation brought on by this pandemic. That starts with explaining what the economic recovery will look like and the role every level of government, the private sector and individual families will play in that process.  

“We can and we will come back better and stronger than before. America has faced many challenges in our 244-year history and we’ve always overcome them. It will not be easy – it will take strategic foresight, determination and diligence, and most importantly a commitment from everyone, but I know that after we heal the sick, we can also heal our broken economy and get back to work.”

SENATOR RICK SCOTT’S “LET’S GET BACK TO WORK” PLAN:

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD IMPLEMENT THE FOLLOWING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:

  • Do whatever is possible to support and fund research and expedited development of a vaccine.
    • Develop a detailed plan, in coordination with state and local governments, to make this vaccine available nationwide and free to all Americans.
  • Promote and fund efforts by state and local governments and the private sector to continue expanding testing capacity, including monoclonal antibody testing, and contact tracing without violating our privacy rights. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should develop a plan to allow for the hiring or contracting of health care workers to implement these improvements across the nation.
    • For the economy to get back to normal, the United States MUST have the capacity to test anyone who wants to be tested. Period. There is no excuse.
    • Federal agencies, working with private-sector labs and health care providers, should create a system to identify those who have received an antibody test and have Coronavirus antibodies.
  • Provide guidance through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) for responsible safety precautions for individual Americans and businesses to go about their daily lives. The following questions need to be addressed:
    • Should everyone wear a mask? How often should individuals wash their hands? Should groups larger than 10 still be avoided?
    • Should communities be categorized by risk levels, based on factors including number of cases, hospital capacity and testing ability, so areas with few or no cases can be re-opened sooner?
    • Should businesses test all their employees before allowing them to return to work? Should businesses take temperatures daily before allowing employees to enter a building?
    • Is it safe to use mass transportation, like airplanes, trains and cruise lines? Are providers of mass transportation taking the necessary precautions to protect employees and travelers? Should passengers be required to take their temperature before boarding?
  • Provide guidance to health care providers on what criteria they would need to meet to begin elective procedures. In areas outside of hot spots like New York, New Orleans and Detroit, hospitals sit empty and are unable to perform the majority of their services, causing them to have to lay off staff.
    • Every health care provider should have point-of-care rapid diagnostic testing.
    • Health care providers should also take this opportunity – with relaxed federal and state regulations – to expand their tele-health capacity.
  • Reform the public health system to allow for more efficient information-sharing among federal, state, and county public health departments. This would allow faster detection and response to emerging public health emergencies.
    • Hospitals and commercial insurers should transmit viral-related patient data, with appropriate privacy protections, in real-time to the CDC.
    • Hospitals should also share information on the medication given to patients with the virus and the results, as well as symptoms and underlying conditions of patients who have died from the virus.
    • Government should partner with telecommunication companies to use cellular data for opt-in contact-tracing.
  • Continue to expand the national stockpile of Personal Protective Equipment to provide the equipment necessary for health care workers and those on the frontlines of fighting the virus, especially in hot spots and nursing homes, that will see the impact of this virus for many months to come.
    • The United States must reduce its reliance on Communist China for the equipment necessary to address pandemics – many of which originate in China.
    • The federal government, working with the private sector, should strengthen American-made supply chains to address this crisis and any pandemics in the future.
  • Provide more clarity to banks and small businesses about the Paycheck Protection Program and available resources through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of the Treasury and provide oversight to protect against potential fraud.
    • Small businesses and banks need to understand the regulations involved so that money can be disbursed quickly to the small businesses that need it.
    • Congress must also clarify that only small businesses that have seen their revenues substantially reduced by the Coronavirus should have access to taxpayer-funded loans, which will preserve these resources for those who truly need it.
  • FEMA must work with the CDC to update their guidance on how Emergency Managers can successfully keep their communities safe until the Coronavirus is completely gone.
    • This is particularly relevant to Florida due to the coming hurricane season, but also applies to tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, and other potential disasters.
  • Get serious about the threat of Communist China and the role the World Health Organization (WHO) played in helping China cover up the spread of the Coronavirus.
    • The American people need to see that the federal government is taking the threat from Communist China seriously – the federal government must hold Communist China accountable and liable for the thousands of American lives lost due to their negligence.
    • American tax dollars should not be used to purchase products made in Communist China. A new government-wide policy is needed.
    • Online sellers must be required to disclose where products are made, so consumers can choose to buy American-made products.
    • This pandemic should be the last straw. The United States needs to address the New Cold War occurring between the United States and China and be clear about the negative impacts of continuing to buy Chinese-made products.
  • Address our nation’s deficit by bringing spending in line with revenues once the current crisis ends. Even prior to Coronavirus, our nation was running trillion dollar yearly deficits. In order for America to be prepared for the next challenge, and ensure a prosperous economy for generations to come, Congress and the Administration must work together to bring spending under control.

STATE GOVERNMENTS SHOULD IMPLEMENT THE FOLLOWING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:

  • Work with federal and local governments, as well as private-sector partners, to continue expanding testing capacity, including antibody testing.
  • Build their own stockpile of Personal Protective Equipment, and monitor existing and potential hot spots to quickly redirect health care resources.
    • States should pay particular attention to potential outbreaks in rural communities that don’t have significant testing capacity or health care resources.
  • Provide guidance through state agencies, in coordination with the CDC, to businesses in the state on responsible safety measures. The following questions need to be addressed:
    • Should restaurants continue to keep tables six feet apart for a period of time? Should they put plexiglass between booths? Should movie theaters leave seats between patrons? What cleaning regimens should amusement parks use? Should every business be required to have hand sanitizer available for patrons?
  • Create plans to consistently and continuously monitor senior centers and assisted living facilities.
  • Departments of Education and the Board of Governors should give clear guidance about this school year and provide regular updates on summer classes and the 2020-2021 school year.
    • Parents need this information so they can begin making plans and students need to have guidance on their current and future studies.
    • Teachers need the runway to continue developing digital learning lesson plans as well as professional development opportunities regarding remote-teaching.
    • Departments of Education must also create clear guidelines on whether all students should be tested before returning to school or have their temperature taken before entering school buildings, as well as proper cleaning procedures.
    • Higher education institutions should consider enhancing remote learning and developing alternate ways to allow students to continue their education, without putting additional financial burden on the students.
  • Create contingency plans for state budgets.
    • States should not and cannot rely on federal dollars to back-fill their budgets for lost revenue.
    • States MUST begin creating contingency plans that protect the most important functions of government. Sacrifices will have to be made, but vulnerable populations must be protected.
    • This recovery will not be complete by the end of 2020 – it will take a few years. State budgets must be structured to support the long-term recovery of vulnerable industries that drive economic growth in Florida, such as tourism and construction.
  • State Emergency Management officials need to communicate updated emergency protocols to citizens. The following questions need to be addressed:
    • What’s the plan for shelter? Where can I safely quarantine if I am sick? How do families evacuate? What’s the plan to prepare for a hurricane if there’s a new outbreak or hot spot?
  • State governments should lead the way in connecting job seekers with available jobs. While the small business landscape of Florida will certainly look different, there will be jobs available – people just need to know where to find them.

THE PRIVATE SECTOR: 

  • Businesses should start creating plans NOW for re-opening and getting back to a “new normal.”
    • Each business needs to make a decision for itself and its employees and customers about whether they will test all their employees before allowing them to return to work and whether they will take temperatures before allowing anyone into their facilities.
    • This will require the businesses themselves, in consultation with federal, state and local officials, to ensure the testing capacity is available.
    • Businesses will also need to ensure they have access to the necessary Personal Protective Equipment and sanitizing products.
    • Businesses should evaluate their business practices to make sure appropriate social distancing is continued to encourage patrons to feel comfortable visiting their establishment.
    • Businesses should also disclose where their products are produced, and promote American-made products.
  • Businesses should create, and make public, a crisis plan to address future pandemics or the re-emergence of the Coronavirus.

FLORIDA FAMILIES:

  • Every family needs to think through the basic guidelines and safety precautions that would make them feel comfortable going about their normal lives. Our state back can’t get back to work until Florida families feel SAFE going back into their communities, shopping at local stores, dining at local restaurants and going on vacation.
  • Every Florida family should make sure they have received access to programs that address their needs – including expanded Unemployment Insurance, direct cash payments, Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses, and deferment of financial transactions provided by many major financial institutions, utilities, and property owners.
  • Utilize local manufacturers and local stores to obtain simple Personal Protective Equipment, particularly masks.
  • Focus on buying American and Florida-made products to build American jobs.
    • Every family needs to understand that Communist China is responsible for this pandemic. China is our adversary who has exploited the spread of the virus to gain a strategic advantage over the world.
    • This pandemic has exposed the need to vastly reduce consumer reliance on products made in Communist China. Every family needs to understand that when they purchase products made in China, they are supporting the Chinese Communist Party and their efforts to control the world and destroy freedom.
    • Whenever possible, every family should try to buy American and buy local!

See more of what Senator Scott has been up to this week below.

Sen. Rick Scott, Sen. Ron Johnson and Colleagues Request Information on World Health Organization’s Role in Helping China Cover Up Coronavirus

Senators Rick Scott, Ron Johnson, Martha McSally, Kevin Cramer, Steve Daines, Todd Young and Joni Ernst sent a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) requesting information ahead of a Congressional hearing to investigate the WHO’s role in helping Communist China cover up information regarding the threat of the Coronavirus. In case you missed it, Senator Rick Scott wrote an op-ed for FOX News last week on how the WHO should be held accountable for its role in helping Communist China cover up the Coronavirus pandemic, which cost thousands of lives around the world. Read more, including the full letter, HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Releases Daily Update on Coronavirus Growth Rate by State and Florida County 

This week, Senator Rick Scott continued to release updates on the growth rate of cases of the Coronavirus by state, and by county in Florida, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering and Florida Department of Health data. Senator Scott is releasing this information daily to show which states are slowing the growth of Coronavirus. See updates from this week HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Requests Information on PAHO’s Response to Coronavirus and Cooperation with the WHO

Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Dr. Carissa Etienne requesting additional information on PAHO’s response to the Coronavirus and any coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Communist Party of China, whose efforts to cover up the pandemic cost thousands of lives around the world. Read more, including the full letter, HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott: Don’t Let Your Guard Down, Prepare for Hurricane Season NOW

Senator Rick Scott wrote a letter to the editors of Florida’s papers urging families to stay vigilant and get prepared now for the 2020 Hurricane Season, beginning June 1, as our nation continues working to end the spread of the Coronavirus. Last week, Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issue guidance to address the CDC’s Coronavirus guidelines and procedures to keep Floridians safe and healthy in the event of a storm. Read more HERE.

In the letter, Senator Rick Scott wrote, “As Floridians, we know better than anyone that preparedness saves lives. Complacency is the enemy. As we continue to do everything we can to stop the spread of the Coronavirus so we can get back to our everyday lives – we must also prepare for what lies ahead. 

The 2020 hurricane season is quickly approaching, and preparing for a storm this year might look a little different. You’re probably asking questions like: How can I evacuate if I’m socially distancing? What would a hurricane shelter look like if we’re avoiding crowds? How do I build a disaster preparedness kit for my family if I can’t go to the store?

Hurricane season begins June 1, and while we all hope that in two months the threat of Coronavirus is over, we must prepare for the worst and have a plan.

Federal, state and local officials are going to have to address how to keep families safe while adhering to CDC guidelines on the Coronavirus. Floridians are going to have to get creative in their preparedness efforts. And the time to start thinking about this is now.

To the extent that your family is financially able to – consider purchasing supplies for your disaster supply kits online. That includes vital supplies, like food, water, flashlights, batteries and other necessities. Every family and business needs to make or revisit their emergency plans. You can find resources and information on creating a personalized emergency plan at www.ready.gov.

As your Senator, I’ll do everything I can at the federal level to protect Florida’s families and businesses. I’m working with FEMA to issue guidance to states, local governments, tribes and territories regarding how to address hurricane preparedness in the wake of Coronavirus.

I know everyone is exhausted from the effects of the Coronavirus, but we cannot let our guards down. In case of a storm, always stay tuned to your local news reports and follow the direction of local law enforcement and emergency management officials. As I always say, you can rebuild your home, but you cannot rebuild your life.

We must keep doing everything we can to take care of each other and protect our families. Don’t wait to take action. Start getting prepared TODAY.”

Senador Rick Scott: No baje la guardia, prepárese para la temporada de huracanes AHORA

El senador Rick Scott escribió una carta a los editores de los periódicos de la Florida instando a las familias a mantenerse vigilantes y prepararse ahora para la Temporada de Huracanes 2020, que comienza el 1 de junio, mientras nuestra nación continúa trabajando para terminar con la propagación del Coronavirus. La semana pasada, los senadores Rick Scott y Marco Rubio solicitaron que la Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA, por sus siglas en inglés) a orientar a los estados en los procedimientos y guías del CDC para el Coronavirus para mantener a los floridanos seguros y saludables en caso de tormenta. Puede leer la carta AQUÍ.

En la carta, el senador Rick Scott escribió: “Como floridanos, sabemos mejor que nadie que la preparación salva vidas. La complacencia es el enemigo. A medida que continuamos haciendo todo lo posible para detener la propagación del Coronavirus para que podamos volver a nuestra vida cotidiana, también debemos prepararnos para lo que nos espera.

La temporada de huracanes 2020 se acerca rápidamente, y prepararse para una tormenta este año podría ser un poco diferente. Probablemente esté haciéndose preguntas como: ¿Cómo puedo evacuar si me estoy distanciando socialmente? ¿Cómo serán los refugios de huracanes si tenemos que evitar a las multitudes? ¿Cómo preparo un kit de materiales para desastres para mi familia si no puedo ir de compras?

La temporada de huracanes comienza el 1 de junio, y aunque todos esperamos que en dos meses la amenaza del Coronavirus haya terminado, debemos prepararnos para lo peor y tener un plan.

Los funcionarios federales, estatales y locales tendrán que decidir cómo mantener a las familias seguras mientras se adhieren a las guías del CDC sobre el Coronavirus. Los floridanos tendrán que ser creativos en sus esfuerzos de preparación. Y el momento de comenzar a pensar en esto es ahora. 

En la medida en que su familia pueda financieramente, considere comenzar a comprar suministros para desastres en línea. Eso incluye suministros vitales, como alimentos enlatados, agua, linternas, baterías y otras necesidades. Toda familia y empresa necesita hacer o revisar sus planes de emergencia. Puede encontrar recursos e información sobre cómo crear un plan de emergencia personalizado en www.ready.gov/es

Como su Senador, haré todo lo que pueda a nivel federal para proteger a las familias y empresas de la Florida. Estoy trabajando con FEMA orientas a los estados, gobiernos locales, tribus y territorios sobre cómo abordar la preparación para huracanes a raíz del Coronavirus.

Sé que todos están exhaustos por los efectos del Coronavirus, pero no podemos defraudar a nuestros guardias. En caso de tormenta, manténgase siempre atento a los informes de noticias locales y siga las instrucciones de las autoridades locales y los funcionarios de gestión de emergencias. Como siempre digo, puedes reconstruir tu hogar, pero no puedes reconstruir tu vida.

Debemos seguir haciendo todo lo posible para cuidarnos unos a otros y proteger a nuestras familias. No esperes para tomar medidas. Comience a prepararse HOY”.

National Journal: Rick Scott adapts his governor playbook to Washington’s coronavirus response

Fox News Radio: Sen. Rick Scott on Reopening Florida’s Economy

Breitbart: Florida Sen. Rick Scott: Businesses Should Begin Crafting Plans for Reopening ‘Now’

Florida Daily: Florida’s Senators, Three Representatives Named to Economic Recovery Group

WESH: Florida lawmakers to serve on Opening Up America Again Congressional Group

Tampa Bay Times: Prepare for hurricanes before it’s too late, says Sen. Rick Scott | Letters

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sen. Rick Scott: While stuck at home, prepare for hurricanes

Florida Daily: Rick Scott: Don’t Let Your Guard Down, Prepare for Hurricane Season Now

Florida Daily: Rick Scott Releases First Step of Plan to Get Economy Moving Again After Coronavirus Pandemic

ABC News: GOP senators, starting probe, demand WHO turn over details on COVID-19’s origin

NBC News: Senate Republicans investigating WHO and China’s coronavirus response

NPR: Sen. Rick Scott On Reopening Economy, Florida’s Troubled Unemployment System

Newsweek: China Hawks In Congress Want Beijing To Pay Compensation For Coronavirus Pandemic

Axios: Scoop: Lawmakers demand answers from WHO

New York Post: GOP senators call for tough response against China over coronavirus crisis

The Hill: GOP senators target WHO as part of coronavirus probe

Washington Examiner: Urgent’: Bipartisan group of senators urge China to ‘immediately close’ all wet markets

Washington Times: Republican senators seek answers on WHO’s early response to coronavirus outbreak

Townhall: Senate Republicans Pen Letter to WHO Director General Demanding Information on China

Florida Daily: Rick Scott Wants Information from WHO About Its Role in Helping Chinese Government Cover Up Coronavirus

Florida Daily: Marco Rubio, Rick Scott Urge Donald Trump to Keep Pro-Life Protections for Coronavirus Research

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