Bridgeport, CT — Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) announced that he has been named to the Bipartisan Northeast Congressional COVID-19 Regional Recovery Taskforce. The taskforce is charged with advising and coordinating how to best move states in the Northeast toward eventual reopening and preparation for future waves of COVID-19.
“Our region has been hit harder by this virus than any other in the country,” said Himes. “It’s only through the service and dedication of our healthcare workers, first responders, and front-line workers that we will come through this together. But the hard-fought progress we are making has come at too steep a price for us to prematurely open the state and risk a series of deadly recurrences.”
As some states throughout the nation have opened businesses in the past week, going against the advice of medical experts, Himes supports a path that protects the long-term health of the population and economy.
“Restarting the economy requires a steady and thoughtful approach,” Himes continued. “If we rush to reopen, our failure will be measured by the deaths of friends and neighbors and will likely come at a greater economic cost. We all want to get back to work and resume a semblance of normalcy as soon as we safely can. This taskforce will lay the groundwork for how we can do that responsibly.”
In addition to advising on economic matters, the taskforce will also examine how the region can better prepare for subsequent waves of infection and protect our democratic institutions.
“We can’t get caught flat-footed again,” Himes said. “If we want to have enough personal protective equipment in the fall and ensure that November’s election doesn’t put voters at undue risk, we need to start planning now. The taskforce will be meeting on a weekly basis to stay ahead of the curve and seek out the best options.”
Himes is joined on the taskforce by Reps. Mikie Sherrill (co-chair, D-N.J.), Pete King (co-chair, R-N.Y.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Dan Meuser (R-Pa.), Elise Stefanik (R-NY, and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.)
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