Dear Mr. Cohen:
Thank you for contacting me about supporting Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. I am closely monitoring the impacts of this serious outbreak and working to ensure a comprehensive response, and I appreciate you reaching out to share your thoughts with me.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing public health crisis that is jeopardizing the health and economic security of millions of individuals and families across the country and in Wisconsin. Over the past few months, I have worked with my colleagues to help pass four bipartisan bills in response to COVID-19. This helped stabilize our economy and provided the President with many tools to put together an effective strategy to combat this pandemic, including billions in funding to enhance testing. Sadly, the President has not implemented a national testing strategy, provided states with the necessary resources, or demonstrated the leadership needed to contain the spread of the virus.
As we continue to see increases in cases in Wisconsin and across the country, I am urging Senate leadership to take up and pass a bold COVID-19 bill that provides a comprehensive response to all patients, workers, and families impacted by COVID-19. This includes legislation that I have proposed to boost the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies; ensure workers are protected by strong federal health and safety standards; offer federal aid to farmers, food processors and food distributors; and create a national jobs program to rehire workers unemployed as a result of this public health crisis. For more information on my bill to boost PPE and medical supplies, please visit my website at https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/press-releases/medical-supply-transparency-and-delivery-act
EMS providers are an important component of our health care system, and are often on the front lines of providing critical care, including in response to this public health emergency. These first responders are often the only health care providers in their area and face difficulty in personnel recruitment and retention, and securing expensive equipment. The CARES Act included billions in funding to provide protective personal equipment (PPE) to our health care providers and first responders. However, we need President Trump to step up and coordinate a national strategy to ensure health care workers have the PPE and medical equipment they need. I have introduced legislation to require the President to fully utilize the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of important medical equipment and PPE, and I have called on the Administration to provide Wisconsin with critical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile. Further, I support providing a pandemic premium pay raise these heroes who are serving during a public health crisis. Providing this pay increase rewards their personal sacrifices and helps in recruiting and retaining these essential frontline workers. Moving forward, I hope the President will join Congress as a partner in our shared fight to provide these resources and take every possible action to support our health care providers and first responders as they respond to this outbreak.
We are facing an unprecedented public health crisis, but we are all in this together. For more information on what resources are available to Wisconsinites, please visit my website at https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/coronavirus. For the most accurate and up-to-date information about the outbreak, including steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 exposure, please visit the dedicated CDC website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For information that is specific to the state of Wisconsin, you can visit: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm, or call (608) 266-1865. And finally, for information on your potential risk of infection or personal health status, including whether you should seek diagnostic testing, treatment or take steps to self-isolate, please contact your healthcare provider, or call (608) 266-1865 for further guidance.
Once again, thank you for contacting my office. It is important for me to hear from the people of Wisconsin on the issues, thoughts and concerns that matter most to you. If I can be of further assistance, please visit my website at www.baldwin.senate.gov for information on how to contact my office.
United States Senator