COVID-19 Resources and Information
"We have tools that we can use to beat this virus and we're going to beat this virus. We have nothing but praise for President Trump...let's work together on behalf of the American people."
-Congressman Matt Gaetz
Governor Ron DeSantis Gives COVID-19 Update on "FOX and Friends" (May 14, 2020)
Congressman Gaetz Discusses Re-Opening America on "Huckabee" (April 25, 2020)
Hello, Friends —
BACK TO THE SWAMP (AT LAST)
This Friday, the House came back to DC to vote on two particularly terrible pieces of legislation: a constitutionally-dubious plan to allow the House to engage in “proxy voting,” and a coronavirus “relief package” that gives money to illegal aliens, frees criminals, and crushes small businesses with burdensome regulations. While it’s good to get back to work, I am concerned that these two bills will harm the institution of Congress and the American people.
The first piece of legislation, H.Res.965, upends two centuries of tradition by allowing voting in the House to take place “by proxy” — in other words, letting someone else cast a vote on your behalf. This misguided proposal allows a Representative to vote on behalf of as many as ten other Members of Congress, meaning that a bill could pass with around twenty votes.
Members of Congress should not be encouraged to be absent from their jobs. This bill is a slap in the face to representative democracy, and raises serious constitutional concerns. Although I voted against it (along with 184 of my Republican colleagues, 3 Democrats, and an Independent), this disturbing change to House rules passed 217-189.
The second bill we voted on was even worse. The “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act” (the “HEROES Act”) was described as a “coronavirus relief package,” but it is actually nothing more than a ‘wish list’ of priorities for radical Democrats. This fundamentally unserious legislation offers stimulus payments to illegal aliens, frees dangerous criminals nationwide, nationalizes our election system, and even goes so far as to prevent the creation of any work requirements for welfare — a common-sense proposal supported by a majority of Americans.
It is revealing that a Republican “Motion to Recommit” (basically a last-minute amendment), which changed the bill so that illegal aliens would not receive stimulus payments, was defeated 198-209.
The so-called “HEROES Act” makes clear that Democrats’ real “heroes” are lobbyists, special-interest groups, and illegal aliens — not the American people.
I voted against this disastrous bill (along with almost every Republican and several Democrats), and although it passed 208-199, it is extremely unlikely that the Senate will act on it. I sincerely hope that future coronavirus relief legislation will be free of the ludicrous partisanship of the “HEROES Act.”
My staff and I have received many questions about unemployment. Below are some helpful resources:
- Please visit here to file an unemployment claim.
- Please visit here for a video tutorial on applying for reemployment assistance.
- Please visit here for a COVID-19 Reemployment Resource Guide.
TESTING IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA
My office has received many questions about testing: who should get tested, and when? If you have come in contact with an infected person, or are showing symptoms, please click HERE for more information on how and where to get tested. Note: residents with COVID-19 symptoms will be prioritized.
The Treasury Inspector General has established a dedicated page where people can report coronavirus related tax scams. If you do find yourself victim to what appears to be a scam, you can report it directly to the federal government here by filling out a short online form.
The website also has helpful information for taxpayers to ensure people don’t fall victim to scams, such as:
- The IRS will generally first contact people by mail — not by phone — about-tax related matters.
- If the IRS does contact you by telephone, they will not insist on any pre-payment in order for you to receive economic impact payments.
- The IRS will also never request personal or financial information by e-mail, text, letters, or any social media.
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE IS ABROAD
If you are abroad or have loved ones abroad, make plans to return home. The State Department has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, advising all U.S. citizens to avoid international travel. To learn more about what this may mean for you and your family, visit their website HERE.
If you are abroad and unable to return home, please contact my office. My staff will work with the State Department to get you home as quickly as possible.
Please see below for a list of resources and sites with up-to-date information on COVID-19.
Though this is a trying time for all of us, I have no doubt that our Northwest Florida community will endure, overcome, and thrive.
The Trump Administration Is Supporting the People of Florida
“We have the best doctors, the best military leaders, and the best logistics professionals anywhere in the world. And we’re orchestrating a massive Federal response unlike anything our country has ever seen.” – President Donald J. Trump
Overview: Response and recovery efforts are locally executed, State managed, and Federally supported. Successful emergency management requires nationwide cooperation and unity of effort, combining the strength and ingenuity of our citizens and private sector with a sweeping, all-inclusive, and whole-of-government response. The below is a partial overview of Federal assistance provided to the State of Florida and the people of Florida to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The information is bolstered by hundreds of additional actions by the Federal government to help the people of Florida. Implementation of the CARES Act is ongoing and will also bring additional support to Florida. President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have appreciated the strong State-Federal partnership with Governor Ron DeSantis.
Supportive Actions by President Donald J. Trump:
- President Trump Declares a National Emergency: On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency concerning COVID-19. The emergency declaration authorized direct Federal assistance, temporary facilities, commodities, equipment, and emergency operation costs for all States, including Florida, pursuant to section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
- Florida’s Major Disaster Declaration: On March 23, Governor DeSantis submitted a major disaster declaration request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On March 25, President Trump approved the request declaring a major disaster in the State of Florida and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, local, and tribal recovery efforts in the areas affected by COVID-19. For the first time in our Nation’s history, every State and territory has a presidential disaster declaration at the same time.
- Historic Economic Relief: On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. The law provides unprecedented economic relief to American citizens, small businesses, workers, healthcare providers, and State, local, and tribal governments and builds on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. More here. Additional Florida allocation information is found below.
- National Guard Support: On March 28, President Trump directed FEMA to fund 100% of the emergency assistance activities provided by Florida National Guard personnel in Title 32 duty status, per Governor DeSantis’ request.
Florida Coronavirus Tracker:
Visit the COVID-19 dashboard created by the Florida Department of Health (updated twice daily).
Florida Department of Health Website
Visit the official Florida Department of Health Website for the latest information on state-wide COVID-19 updates.
If you have questions about what Florida is doing to combat the Coronavirus, call the Florida COVID-19 hotline at 866-779-6121, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They can answer questions about Coronavirus symptoms, news, and how to donate or volunteer in areas impacted by the virus.
The Florida Department of Health website provides an abundance of information on COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page dedicated to COVID-19, available HERE.
If You Are Abroad or Traveling Abroad:
If you are abroad or plan on travelling abroad soon, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is very important. Enrolling in STEP will provide you with the latest safety and security information for your destination country so you can make informed decisions about your travel. It will also help the U.S. embassy contact you and provide assistance during an emergency overseas. The STEP website can be found HERE.
As the effects of Coronavirus continue to unfold, my district office and my DC office will both continue teleworking for the foreseeable future. However, we are always here for you and will continue working to help and assist you however we can.
County Information and Closures:
Click Below on your county for the most up-to-date information on closures in Escambia, Okaloosa, Holmes, Santa Rosa, and Walton Counties:
The Senate passed the "CARES ACT" to "To provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic." Click HERE for a summary of what the Bill Contains.
Click HERE for the latest information from NAS Pensacola
Eglin Air Force Base:
Click HERE for the latest information from Eglin Air Force Base
Click HERE for the latest information from Hurlburt Field
Know How it Spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Take steps to protect yourself
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Take steps to protect others
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
- Diluting your household bleach.
To make a bleach solution, mix:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- Alcohol solutions.
Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
- Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).