Families First Coronavirus Response Act Proposal Passes in the House, becomes law

Written by Beckett Glass (News Writer)

The ambulance races up the streets that have been deserted for weeks because of residents in self-isolation, the ambulance comes to an immediate stop in front of a house that belongs to an elderly man. Unfortunately, he had begun exhibiting severe symptoms of COVID-19 and needed to be hospitalized immediately. Two weeks of intense hospitalization later and he had succumbed to the virus. Events like this are happening around the globe and all nations are responding to it differently. 

Most recently the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCA) passed by the House of Representatives became public law, marking an important step in American COVID-19 response. The FFCA is directed at minimizing the economic effect of the COVID-19 crisis on the public. It emphasizes supplements to the nutrition program for women, infants, and children The bill also ensures that there is a federal paid leave program that will coverall people taking unpaid leave to care for their families will be able to. It also stipulates that all employers must provide paid sick leave. This is not the 2.2 trillion dollar aid package that cleared the Senate but it is a smaller one. 

The death toll of the COVID-19 has skyrocketed since its outbreak in late December. Different nations across the globe have been handling the pandemic differently. Italy has been the hardest hit European nation so far, it has suffered thousands of casualties and will continue to do so with an ever-growing rate of new cases. So far, Italy has taken several preventative measures to try and limit the spread of the virus. The Italian Ministry of Health has taken measures many other countries have taken such as closing all non-essential businesses. In a speech, Prime Minister Conte explains that the decisions to keep only the essential businesses open were made with the trade unions and the trade associations of Italy. 

Several states in the United States have closed all non-essential businesses. California and New York have deployed their National Guards to assist with food and item distribution. The act allows any president to order companies to prioritizes contracts for production. On March 20 Trump initiated the Defense Production Act but is yet to order the production of materials, which will ensure that companies produce what is needed to combat the pandemic. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Trump has authorized six federal departments including the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, and Energy to have the responsibility to manage the priority resources in their jurisdiction. For example, the Department of Agriculture has responsibility for Agricultural necessities such as food resources and veterinary resources.  Several states have responded quickly to the COVID-19 threat the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom has given a Stay Home order which orders all Californians to stay in their place of residence unless needed for essential business such as Exercise, federal and state jobs that are vital to the running of the country and the state. 

Spain’s health ministry has distributed over four million maks to the populace and like many other governments shutting down face-to-face education and opting for an online option. Many countries including Spain and the United States have put border restrictions in place for non-essential traffic.  Spain has also started using a rapid test that identifies a segment of the pathogen, this allows for a more rapid test. 

This crisis is of mass proportion if the federal government does not take more action soon, the effect of the virus will be devastating. The fallout will erase previous economic recovery made. Swift action must be taken by the federal government to minimalize the damage done and to ensure the safety of all Americans and the rest of the world. The government must divert more funding to the CDC for research to quickly find a vaccine that will enable the world to eradicate this virus.

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