|Sen. Mitch McConnell paid a visit to St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas on Friday and held a short press conference.|
By Jessie Eden
Senator Mitch McConnell paid a visit to St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas on Friday morning where he spoke about the Covid-19 pandemic, thanked front line workers and nurses, and discussed what he feels are the next steps for the state of Kentucky.
The 30-minute press conference was Sen. McConnell's first public appearance since March and Sen. McConnell said he thought the appropriate thing to do was to visit various hospitals across the state to thank front line workers. "Back in February we didn't know much about this disease," said Sen. McConnell. "We weren't sure what we were dealing with. So, they bravely went right into the face of this pandemic and at that particular space we didn't know how dangerous it was, especially with vulnerable populations...so these are the real heroes and I want to thank all of you for what you've done."
Sen. McConnell also touched upon several issues concerning unemployment, the budget and when he believes schools should be back in session. Fort Thomas Matters was on scene live-streaming the event. Here are the main takeaways;
- UNEMPLOYMENT: Sen. McConnell said he believes that paying unemployed recipients more than they would have made while working was a mistake and any future unemployment efforts will not have this. "We're taking a careful look at a fourth and final bill, a decision will be made in about a month. It will be narrowly crafted to help us for where we are a month from now, not where we were three months ago."
- STIMULUS BILL / ECONOMY: "We now of a debt as big as our economy...which has happened since WWII. We need to think through the next big step." He mentioned a current bill for $3 trillion that is currently in the works. Sen. McConnell stated that if there was another bill, it will be written in the senate. He said it will not be $3 trillion and through talks with Democrats, they will determine an amount. He also stated that it will not pass if it doesn't have liability protection for universities, hospitals and more. "Any bill that passes the senate will have liability protection so that they aren't facing an avalanche of lawsuits when they reopen." He also stated that $150 million has been set aside for state and local governments.
- SCHOOLS: "Looking forward, I think the two most important things to getting back to normal are jobs and kids. We got to have these K-12 open, colleges open, this fall. The country is simply going to go nuts if the kids aren't back in school August or September. Fortunately, universities are responding to that."
- PROTEST VIOLENCE IN LOUISVILLE: In response to a question regarding violent protests where 7 people were shot Thursday night in Louisville that were in response to police brutality against Breonna Taylor (Louisville) and George Floyd (Minnesota), Sen. McConnell stated the following; "You can understand the outrage and reaction. They need to be thoroughly investigated. Justice needs to be done. I've always been a support of demonstrations but they need to be peaceful...and this senseless violence in reaction to this is not helpful to anyone and I hope it will stop.
- CORONAVIRUS CLINICAL TRIAL: St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas has been chosen to participate in a clinical trial to create a better treatment for the Coronavirus. Sen. McConnell also recognized Gravity Diagnostics for their extensive testing the company has provided for the virus.