04/02/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

April 2, 2020
Last night, I hosted my 3rd weekly tele-town hall meeting focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and was joined by Dr. Scott Miscovich. Together, we addressed questions from Hawai‘i residents on topics ranging from testing and preventive measures to what resources are available to people with the latest aid package passed by Congress. 
With nearly 11,000 people on the call, it is a great opportunity for us to come together as a community, to ask questions, gain information, and to weather this storm together.  
Unfortunately, there are some who are perpetuating bigotry and racism in the face of this pandemic, rather than recognizing that we must stand united to defeat this threat. I cosponsored H.Res.908 which highlights the unfortunate rise in anti-Asian acts of hate we are seeing in communities across America — from cruel remarks to outright violence. Now more than ever we must remember that we are all connected and be inspired by aloha in how we treat each other.
We are available to help you or your family if you are in need of assistance. Please call me at (808) 541-1986 or email me at TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov. Please visit my COVID-19 resources webpage which is updated daily with new information that may be of help to you.
Mahalo and best of health,
Tulsi Gabbard
Member of Congress (HI-02)

Tele-Town Halls to Continue

We will be continuing at least weekly telephone town halls focused on providing information during this COVID-19 pandemic.  I will update you with additional information about guests and topics as we get closer to the date.
Telephone Town Hall | COVID-19 Update # 4
Wednesday, April 8 at 4:00 p.m. Hawai‘i Time
Directly join by calling (888) 476-4187 at that time

House Select Committee Created to Specifically Focus on National Coronavirus Response

Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of a select committee which will be focused on responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The committee will be chaired by my friend, Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (SC), a veteran lawmaker and leader in Congress.

UPDATE: No action needed for Social Security recipients to receive stimulus check

In response to initial confusion about guidance it issued, the Treasury Department issued a statement indicating that the I.R.S. would use the information on Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 to generate $1,200 payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Social security recipients who do not normally file tax returns will not need to file a tax return to receive their payment. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.

CDC: Taking Care of Keiki During the Coronavirus Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our lives in many ways, including the time we are sharing with family. As stay-at-home orders are enacted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have put together some suggestions for how to care for keiki during this crisis — including how to help protect them and how symptoms may present in children. Additional tips include.
  • Watch for signs of illness or stress in your child
  • Help your child stay active and socially connected
  • But maintain social distancing and reinforce good hygiene behavior
  • Stay in touch with your child’s school
  • Create a schedule and routine for learning at home, but remain flexible

And remember...

The federal income tax filing date has been postponed. Learn more about what the IRS is doing during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

Testing in Hawai‘i — To date, there are 285 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. There have been 27 new cases since yesterday. We continue to see daily increases in the double-digits over the past several days. Of the 285 cases, 15 remain hospitalized and 72 have been released from isolation.
As we heard during the tele-town hall I hosted yesterday with Dr. Miscovich, we are doing better in terms of the number of tests and the turnaround time for results, but we need to do more for Hawai‘i in order to get a true picture of the pandemic’s impact.
President Grants Disaster Declaration for Hawai‘i — President Trump signed a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Hawai‘i. Doing so now triggers the release of federal funds to help communities as they deal with and recover from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The declaration is effective retroactively to Jan. 20, 2020 and continues indefinitely for the time being. The disaster declaration provides assistance to individuals and households and for emergency work and repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. The measure provides direct federal assistance of 75% of the total cost.
Drive-Thru Screening at Hilo’s Ho‘olulu Complex, April 5 — The County of Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 Task Force, in collaboration with Premier Medical Group and Bay Clinic, will be hosting a drive-through screening and test clinic on Sunday, April 5 from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Hilo Ho‘olulu Complex. The free clinic is open to the public, but individuals must first undergo a screening by on-site physicians to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested.
Mayors Caldwell, Victorino, and Kawakami Urge Ban of Non-Essential, Interstate Travel — 3 of Hawai‘i’s 4 mayors have sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he issue an order that restricts all non-essential domestic travel to the State of Hawai‘i until April 30, 2020. They write that “the State of Hawai‘i is in a very unique situation unlike any other state in the union. As islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the only way to come into the state is by air or sea. Most of the positive test results of COVID-19 infection in the State of Hawai‘i are directly related to travelers coming into the State of Hawai‘i – either residents returning to their island homes or visitors from the mainland or other countries who travel to Hawai‘i.”
Kaua‘i Emphasizes the Importance of Completing the 2020 Census — Noting the role that the U.S. Census plays in accurate representation as well as the allocation of public resources, Mayor Kawakami urged Kaua‘i residents to take this opportunity to complete the brief questionnaire — especially given the opportunity during the stay-at-home order — so that Hawai‘i is counted!

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