Congresswoman Maxine Waters got candid on the House floor Thursday. While speaking in support of the $484 billion relief aid package passed by the Senate and House this week, the California lawmaker revealed that her sister is in a hospital in St. Louis fighting for her life.
“I’m going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri right now, infected by the coronavirus,” Waters said. While on the floor, Waters lowered her face mask to share her approval for the new funding that will be poured into the Paycheck Protection Program and the Healthcare Enhancement Act.
The legislation, which is likely to be signed by Donald Trump this week, will provide $370 billion in funding for small business loans, and allocates an additional $100 billion for hospitals and COVID-19 testing. Another $60 billion has been designated for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
Waters is not the only member of Congress being deeply affected by the current health pandemic. On Thursday, Elizabeth Warren revealed that her eldest brother, Don Reed, succumbed to the virus.
“What made him extra special was his smile — quick and crooked, it always seemed to generate its own light, one that lit up everyone around him,” Warren tweeted. “I’m grateful to the nurses and front-line staff who took care of him, but it’s hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say ‘I love you’ one more time — and no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Congress has been hard at work looking to find ways in which the federal government can help support the American public amid an economic shutdown. Both Warren and Waters have been particularly instrumental in ensuring that the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on the Black community remains at the forefront of legislative conversations.