The House is set to vote tomorrow on a Speaker Pelosi-authored bill for additional aid in further response to the challenges created by COVID-19.  Some of it is related to COVID-19; much of it is not.  The bill is 1,800 pages long and will cost upwards of $3 trillion.  Significantly, this is the first piece of COVID-19 legislation that has not had bi-partisan input.  Even rank and file Democrat members are upset because they have had no input either.  As a consequence, this bill will be the first COVID-19 legislation that registers a partisan vote and will be dead on arrival in the U.S. Senate.   

In terms of substance, the bill would put this country on a path to becoming a permanent welfare state.  Your local restaurants and small businesses would never be able to get back to any normal footing under this bill because it extends overly-generous unemployment payments well into next year and puts in place new onerous regulations.  Additionally, the bill federalizes election laws, increases funding for the National Endowment of the Arts (to name just one line item completely unrelated to the crisis at hand), and mandates prisoner release.  Those are just a few of the items, along with many more on the Democrat wish list, that are in the bill.  For these reasons and many others, my vote will be Nay.  

  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has begun updating its COVID-19 dashboard page with estimates on the number of individuals across the state that have recovered from their COVID-19 infection.  DHHS estimates that as of Monday, some 9,115 patients have successfully recovered from the virus in North Carolina.  These figures will be updated weekly and can be found here.
    • As of yesterday morning, there were 15,816 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Carolina and 597 deaths attributed to the virus.

  • The 2020 Carolina Beach Market is reopening this week.  It will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and can be found at the S Lake Park Blvd at Atlanta Ave. in Carolina Beach.  More information at their Facebook page here.

  • Starting yesterday, families impacted by school closings due to COVID-19 are beginning to receive additional food benefits as part of the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program.

  • If you think you need a test to determine if you have COVID-19 contact your health care provider and share your symptoms.  Not all health care providers provide testing on-site.  These sites listed provide testing for COVID-19.  Some require an appointment and/or a referral from a health care provider. Locations are subject to change.
  • Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo signed an order lifting some restrictions and modifying the local stay at home order.  The Mayor’s proclamation follows the governor’s order last week.  See more about the mayor’s order here and the governor’s order here.

  • There are currently more than 1.391 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 84,000 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins.  Worldwide, there are more than 4.3 million cases and more than 297,000 deaths worldwide.

  • The US has performed 8.7 million coronavirus tests to date, including 1.9 million in the past seven days.

For today’s good news story I’m highlighting the members of the North Carolina National Guard that have been helping to feed students in Bladen County schools since March 15.  Our National Guard goes the extra mile whenever there is a need, and we are so appreciative of their great service! 

As always, visit Coronavirus.gov and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ website for the latest on the outbreak.

Sincerely,