The COVID-19 pandemic is causing extremely serious health and economic impacts across the country, and without a unified national response, those impacts promise to worsen. Communities like those in Appalachia and others with existing economic and health disparities are most vulnerable. Our region has a perspective on severe health and economic distress.
In response to the pandemic, and the pre-existing economic and health disparities of our Region, Fahe is offering policy recommendations that we believe should guide our national response. Some of the recommendations have already been adopted in the recent passage of the CARES Act, though most have only been partially addressed – if they have been addressed at all. Furthermore, large amounts of the bill’s stimulus will be channeled to major financial interests, instead of focused on direct funding effectively to everyday Americans. Fahe is hopeful that the government will ensure the public interest is put first in CARES Act spending, and that in the upcoming discussions for a hypothetical “Phase 4” stimulus bill, Congress and the Administration will solely focus on people and communities suffering the most from the economic downturn.
Our policy recommendations seek to protect Appalachian communities and everyday Americans in communities across the country as we all address the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Some of the recommendations are discrete changes to government regulations or calls for increased federal investments, and some are principles for how government can best support everyday Americans and the economic engines of our communities through this difficult time.
With the spread of the virus, the shocks to the economy, and governmental responses all changing every day, we are striving to keep you updated with the best available information. Please keep an eye on this space and your email for that up-to-date information. If you have questions about the Policy Response document, or the work that Fahe is doing to protect Appalachian communities during this challenging time, please email Joshua Stewart, Advocacy Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.