Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Donald Payne Jr (Tenth District of New Jersey)
Media Contact: Patrick Wright — Patrick.Wright@mail.house.gov
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. wrote a letter today to the leadership of the House of Representatives to remind them to include critical measures to protect dialysis patients and workers in the next coronavirus relief package.
In the letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Payne, Jr. wrote that dialysis machines and fluids could be in short supply based on the needs of coronavirus patients. As a dialysis patient, Rep. Payne, Jr. understands that these patients are one of the most vulnerable populations for coronavirus infections and must travel frequently to receive treatments despite stay-at-home orders in many states. Shortages of dialysis machines and fluids could cause fatal consequences for hospitalized patients and could lead to severe complications for patients who receive normal dialysis treatments.
“As a dialysis patient, my health depends on uninterrupted access to dialysis treatment,” wrote Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. “If there were to be a nationwide shortage of dialysis machines and fluids because of increased need among COVID-19 patients, I would suffer along with the rest of the dialysis community. I strongly urge you to consider this emerging issue in future coronavirus relief legislation to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of dialysis machines and fluids for health care providers.”
Rep. Payne, Jr. has been working diligently to get life-saving aid to his constituents and all Americans during this difficult time. He introduced a bill to get hazard pay for the nation’s federal frontline workers, such as TSA agents, daycare workers, and veteran health care workers. He co-wrote a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve a ventilator design that could help supply local hospitals in New Jersey and the rest of the country that the FDA approved a week later. Once the design plans are posted online, local companies could download them and begin production immediately. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery of the House Committee on Homeland Security, he has been in constant contact with FEMA officials to support them in their efforts to aid and protect the American people.
In addition, he has voted to approve four coronavirus-related aid bills in the House to help the nation survive this public health crisis. The most recent law, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), provided $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program to allow small businesses to pay their employees, $75 billion to health care facilities for protective equipment and care, and $25 billion to enhance the country’s coronavirus testing capability.
The first law, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074), provided $8.3 billion to fund medical efforts. The second one, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), provided free coronavirus testing for Americans and mandatory paid sick leave for workers. The third one, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) authorized more than $2 trillion to Americans in coronavirus aid, including direct payments to low and middle-income workers, increased unemployment benefits, $349 billion to small businesses through grants and interest-free loans, $150 billion to state and local governments to help them handle coronavirus-related expenses, and $200 billion to support America’s hospitals and health care workers.