AUDIO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Tele-Town Hall on Coronavirus Crisis

April 9, 2020, 7:56 AM HST · Updated April 9, 7:56 AM
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US Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) hosted a live, tele-town hall to provide updates on the national and state response to the coronavirus. She was joined by Jane Sawyer, the Hawai‘i District Director of the US Small Business Administration, which is providing support for small businesses nationwide during the coronavirus pandemic. They answered questions and discussed the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and the resources available to help Hawai‘i residents and small businesses.  Rep. Gabbard also addressed her recent call for better state leadership on the coronavirus crisis in Hawai‘i.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will host her next tele-town hall on Wednesday, April 15 at 4 p.m. HST. You can register in advance by signing up on the Congresswoman’s tele-town hall webpage, or listen to the event live online — and ask questions — by going to gabbard.house.gov/live during the scheduled event.

“Small business owners and their employees are being hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and economic downturn. Many are facing bankruptcy, almost total reduction in revenue, and uncertainty about how to plan for the future. Delivering updated information through this town hall regarding recent Congressional legislation passed, what assistance is available, and how to get it to them quickly is critical,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Mahalo to Jane Sawyer from the SBA for joining me this afternoon to help answer questions about their most pressing concerns.”

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Rep. Gabbard opened the call with an update on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other emergency funding bills, including the money that has already made its way to Hawai‘i as a result of Congressional legislation, including funds for transit, community health centers, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), and direct payments to individuals.

In response to a question about the importance of testing and concerns about community spread by asymptomatic individuals, Rep. Gabbard reiterated her call for Hawai‘i Department of Health officials Bruce Anderson and Dr. Sarah Park to resign because of their repeated failures that put the health, lives and wellbeing of the people of Hawaii at risk. She added that should they refuse to step down, Governor Ige should fire them.

Jane Sawyer gave an overview on the work the Small Business Administration is doing to assist our small businesses, including the SBA’s work to roll out the existing Office of Disaster Assistance as well as a fund created by the CARES Act for small businesses. She also gave an update on the webinars the SBA will be hosting in the coming days to provide additional information. More information can be found on the Small Business Administration’s website: www.sba.gov.

Congresswoman Gabbard and Jane Sawyer answered questions from concerned residents and small business owners about the assistance available to them from the Federal government, as well as a number of questions about the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the work that is ongoing to address the crisis.

Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has hosted three tele-town hall events, on March 18, March 25, and April 1, in order to update Hawai‘i residents with news about what is being done to confront the pandemic and assist those who are being affected by it. She was joined on these calls by state and federal public officials as well as community leaders to answer questions from across the state.

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