5/29 COVID-19 Updates and Information

May 29, 2020
E-newsletter

COVID-19 Updates and Information

For the most up-to-date resources and information on COVID-19, visit my website here.

According to the IRS, some stimulus payments are being sent to individuals by prepaid debit card. The cards arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services”. Learn more here.

 Image

BUSINESS OWNERS: SBA and Treasury
have released the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application and instructions for the application. The form and instructions are for borrowers to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, and are available here.

FARMERS: Visit USDA’s website here to learn more about applying for CFAP funding.

Statement on Phase 2 Re-Opening and Governor Cuomo’s Failed Leadership

I have heard from hundreds of frustrated and upset local officials and small businesses who are understandably outraged by the unacceptable and arbitrary decision by Governor Cuomo to move the goal posts for re-opening. Small businesses are barely hanging on and have invested in COVID-19 preparations to safely update their operations. Our North Country businesses and communities have worked hard to meet the metrics laid out for Phase 2 required by New York State and our region should enter Phase 2 of re-opening as planned.

CMS Administrator Says Cuomo’s Nursing Homes Deflection is Inaccurate

Yesterday, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator (CMS) Seema Verma corrected Governor Cuomo’s false claim that he was following CDC and Administration guidance by sending COVID-19 positive patients back into nursing homes. “Under no circumstances should a hospital discharge a patient to a nursing home that’s not prepared to take care of those patients’ needs," Verma said on Fox News Radio. “The federal guidelines are absolutely clear about this.” She also emphasized that federal guidelines state that nursing home resident with COVID-19 cannot return to that facility, the government will subsidize that patient’s continued stay in the hospital.

Governor Cuomo’s failed nursing home policy caused massive loss of life in our state, and his attempt to deflect blame onto the Administration and the CDC is both irresponsible and false. The media has a responsibility to hold the Governor to account and report the facts that have been stated by the experts like CMS Administrator Verma, instead of blindly taking what he says to be true. I will continue fighting for justice for the hundreds of families who tragically lost their parents and grandparents in nursing homes – they deserve answers now. Read more here.

Holding NY-21 Working Group Conference Calls

This week, I held a series of successful working group phone calls with our dairy farmers, agricultural retailers and producers, tourism businesses, nonprofits, law enforcement, local elected officials, and community leaders to hear their concerns and strategies for a path forward. It is very important for me to stay in contact with stakeholders like these in order to ensure I am meeting their needs at the federal level. 

Helping the House Pass Two Bills in Support of Law Enforcement

This week, I voted in favor of the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act, bipartisan legislation that I cosponsor in the House. This bill requires the FBI Director to establish the Law Enforcement Officers Suicide Data Collection Program, an initiative that would collect data on law enforcement and former law enforcement suicides at the local, state, and federal level. Congresswoman Stefanik also voted in favor of the bipartisan Public Safety Officer Pandemic Response Act. Currently, the Bureau of Justice Assistance pays $250,000 in death or disability benefits to injured public safety officers or their surviving beneficiaries if the officer is killed or disabled in the line of duty. This legislation would create a new presumption of eligibility for a public safety officer who contracted COVID-19 between January 20, 2020 and January 20, 2022. Our law enforcement community works tirelessly to keep our local communities safe, and they have not wavered in their service throughout this public health crisis. I proudly voted to pass these two important pieces of bipartisan legislation in order to establish a new data collection program and to ensure that our public safety officers who have fallen victim to COVID-19 are eligible for rightfully owed benefits. These men and women have put their lives on the line and deserve our utmost support, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf in Congress. Read more here.

Encouraging Census Participation

Image

If you have not already, be sure to fill out your 2020 Census. The census determines how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into our communities, including NY-21, which will directly fund our police departments, firefighters, schools and more. Complete the census online here.

Helping the House Pass Legislation Providing PPP Flexibility

This week, I voted in favor of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, bipartisan legislation that I cosponsor. This legislation would provide flexibility for small businesses who have utilized PPP loans. Specifically, this legislation extends the period businesses can utilize funds and receive forgiveness to 24 weeks, allows a greater portion of the loan to be utilized on non-payroll expenses, ensures access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans, and provides flexibility on employment level requirements and loan maturity. I have been an outspoken supporter of the PPP loans that have provided immediate relief to our small businesses throughout the last several months. I have worked with the SBA and U.S. Treasury directly to provide clarity and make changes to this program, and I am fully supportive of the new flexibilities that this bill will provide. Our small businesses are the backbone of the North Country economy, and I will continue to advocate for solutions and support for them as they look to reopen and recover from this public health crisis. Read more here.

 Image

County Public Health Resources

Clinton County: (518) 565-4840
Essex County: (518) 873-3514
Franklin County: (518) 481-1709
Fulton County: (518) 736-5720
Hamilton County: (518) 648-6497
Herkimer County: (315) 867-1176
Jefferson County: (315) 785-3000
Lewis County: (315) 376-5453
Saratoga County: (518) 584-7460
St. Lawrence County: (315) 386-2325
Warren County: (518) 761-6580
Washington County: (518) 746-2500

Image

Launching the North Country Heroes Initiative

Our North Country region has displayed incredible leadership, courage, and resilience during this difficult and unprecedented time as we work together to combat and beat COVID-19.  From our doctors, nurses, physician assistants, healthcare providers, hospital personnel, EMS, and first responders who are on the front lines of our public health needs, to our truck drivers, manufacturers, grocers, workers, and farmers who are keeping our shelves stocked, to our county personnel and local elected officials who are working daily to ensure we have the capacity to meet the public’s needs to the best of our ability, to our teachers, caregivers, volunteers, and parents who are meeting the challenge, to our local media informing the public, our entire community is grateful for your tremendous service. As a community working together, we will overcome this. I want to take this time to highlight “North Country Heroes” across our district. If you know of someone going above and beyond during the COVID-19 crisis, please fill out the form on my website here with their permission, so my office can highlight their tremendous service to our community!

Protect Yourself from Scams

Congress recently passed the CARES Act for COVID-19 relief to help individuals and businesses. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have raised concerns about scammers and fraudsters that impersonate federal employees and ask you to verify personal account information in order to receive a payment. Here are some helpful security facts:

  • The U.S. Government will not contact you about these payments - period. 
  • The U.S. Government will not ask you to verify payment information of any kind.
  • The U.S. Government will not ask you to pay any fee or charge to receive payment.
  • The U.S. Government will not offer to expedite your payment for a fee.

To protect your personal information: 

  • Hang up if you receive a telephone call from someone who claims to be from a government agency asking for verification of personal information.
  • Ignore or delete it if you get a pop-up message, email or text that directs you to call a certain number or visit a website to verify personal information.
  • Never reply to a phone number or use a website that is part of a suspicious call, pop-up or text message to verify personal information.
  • Phishing emails are near-replica websites of a trusted or well-known institution such as your financial institution or a government agency.
  • When in doubt, you should initiate contact through a known telephone number or website

Be diligent and ask yourself: Why would your financial institution or the government need to contact you for personal information to make or receive a payment—they already have it! Please do not hesitate to reach out to any one of my offices if you have questions or concerns.

In Case You Missed It - Weekly Media Round-up

Saratogian: Stefanik, Tonko announce telehealth funding for Saratoga Hospital

Press Republican: Reps in Action: May 28, 2020

North Country Now: Congresswoman Stefanik cosponsoring legislation to allow farmers milk donation program to supply food banks

Adirondack Daily Enterprise: As building resumes in region, Stefanik hears about shutdown’s toll on industry

Saratoga TODAY Newspaper: U.S. Rep Stefanik Visits Wilton: Says President Delegating Reopening To States “Right Decision"

Ripon Advance: Stefanik, House colleagues request no further restrictions on seasonal guest worker program

Press Republican: Reps in Action: May 29, 2020

WAMC: Congresswoman Stefanik Holds Discussion Of Dairy Industry Challenges In The Midst Of The Pandemic

WWNY: Officials: reopening phase 2 delayed, but ‘positive news’ coming

North Country Now: Reps Stefanik, Ritchie rip Gov. Cuomo over decision to halt phase 2 of reopening local economy

THANK YOU

On behalf of our entire district, I want to thank the incredible leadership, courage, and resilience of so many at this difficult, unprecedented time as we work together to combat and beat COVID-19. 

From our doctors, nurses, physician assistants, healthcare providers, hospital personnel, EMS, and first reponders who are on the front lines of our public healthy needs, to our truck drivers, manufacturers, grocers, workers, and farmers who are keeping our shelves stocked, to our county personnel and local elected officials who are working daily to ensure we have the capacity to meet the public’s needs to the best of our ability, to our teachers, caregivers, volunteers, and parents who are meeting the challenge, to our local media informing the public, our entire community is grateful for your tremendous service. 

As a community working together, we will overcome this. My office is here to serve each and every constituent. No issue is too small and we will continue to work around the clock to serve the families and small businesses of our district.

As always, thank you for subscribing to my weekly updates!