CUMBERLAND — U.S. Rep. David Trone said Friday he is continuing to work with federal and state leaders in dealing with the health and economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 virus.
He encouraged constituents to call his office if they have questions or need assistance. That number is 301-926-0300.
“We are here to help," he said. “... The more calls we get, the more answers we can provide to help people.”
Trone said he hopes an economic assistance bill will be passed by Congress next Thursday or Friday to bring an estimated $1.5 trillion in aid to deal with COVID-19. It could include broadband expansion that would aid telemedicine, education and telecommuting and is vital in rural areas like Allegany and Garrett counties.
Help for small businesses is also crucial for those adversely affected by COVID-19, referencing restaurants, coffee shops, taverns and bars, among others.
“We need direct cash grants and loans that are amortized over 20 years," Trone said. “We need to help our small businesses and get this bill out by the end of next week.”
Trone said he has been involved around-the-clock in conference calls with government officials, fellow legislators and Gov. Larry Hogan.
“Governor Hogan is doing an excellent job. ... He is all over this,” said Trone, who added that he believes federal aid of $200 billion should be granted to the states.
“This crisis is going to get tougher. We have to help individuals to get help and help small businesses with fixed costs," he said.
Trone also spoke of practical steps that can be taken for people “to think about each other.”
“We have to be smart," Trone said. "It’s a fact of life that people have to be out for essential business, but we need to follow the health guidelines such as social distancing.
“In the checkout line, we need to have social distancing. Spread the checkout lines out so we have no lines and more staff at the checkouts to keep it moving."
Trone also said a resource guide to help with COVID-19 is available at trone.house.gov/covid19.