Saturday, April 04, 2020

Cleaver offers information on COVID-19 and Cares Act

(From Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

I am writing to update you on the latest in the fight to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to provide you some resources and information that will be helpful.

Here is the latest information on how many cases have been confirmed in Missouri, where to go for help if your small business or employment has been affected, and how to keep yourself safe.


COVID-19 has now spread to more than 150 countries, with over 1 million people being infected worldwide. In the United States, there are over 245,000 total cases, including more than 2,000 cases confirmed in our state of Missouri, and over 300 in the Fifth District of Missouri.

As we expect the number of cases in Missouri to continue to rise for the foreseeable future, it’s important you know what to watch out for should you start feeling ill, and what to do if you begin showing symptoms typical of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together some important information to help Americans understand the virus, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you are sick.

For more information on how and where to get tested, you can contact the Missouri Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline, which is open 24/7 at 877-435-8411, or visit their website here. You can also find the latest updates on how the virus is affecting Kansas City at the Kansas City Health Department’s website here.


Last week, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will provide $2.2 trillion of economic relief to American workers and small businesses, as well as critical resources for our health care system to handle the growing number of patients. Included in the stimulus package are provisions that will:

-Give direct payments of $1200 to Americans making up to $75,000, including an additional $500 per child. You can find more information about these payments here.

-Expand Unemployment Insurance (UI) to help workers who have been laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic. You can find more information on UI provisions here.

-Provide massive federal assistance to small businesses who have suffered losses during this crisis or been forced to shut down due to shelter-in-place orders. 

If you’re a small business owner, or know a friend that is, I’ve compiled some information and resources to help you access these funds here.

-Protect American homeowners to keep them in their homes during this crisis. You can find more information about housing protections here.

While Congress is hopeful this stimulus package will help American families and small businesses weather the current storm, I’m also calling for Congress to begin discussions on the next coronavirus relief bill. 

As we’ve witnessed over 10 million Americans file jobless claims in the last two weeks, the federal government must be proactive in protecting our workers who have fallen on hard times due to no fault of their own. 

As these discussions continue, I will be sure to keep you updated on their progress.

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