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It’s Time to Reopen the Economy and Get Texans Back to Work

April 18, 2020

Greetings,  

On Friday, I wrapped up another week of my statewide tele-tour, where I've been able to connect on video conferences and over the phone with Texans in 27 different cities. This week, I spoke with men and women on the frontlines of this pandemic in Lubbock, Abilene, San Angelo, Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Wichita Falls, El Paso, Odessa, Waco, and the Bryan / College Station area. I had the opportunity to talk with Lubbock’s KCBD News Channel 11 and the Valley’s KVEO News Channel 4 to discuss my priorities for defeating this pandemic, helping the American people safely return to work, and holding China accountable for its role in the spread of this deadly disease.

Toward that end, I was pleased to join President Trump’s bipartisan task force to safely re-open the economy. As I outlined during a phone call with the President and members of the task force on Thursday, I believe there are several steps we can start taking now, based on the science and public health guidance, to help get people back to work again:

We need to make testing much more accessible and widely available.

  • I’ve drafted legislation to empower states with the authority to approve and distribute testing. 
  • I’ve also called on Secretary Azar to mass produce serological tests, which quickly and accurately assess coronavirus risk and help determine whether people can return safely to work.

We need to increase production of personal protective equipment or PPE.

  • I’ve urged the administration to take several steps to increase production of PPE – that includes leveraging the incredible might of our free enterprise system through the Defense Production Act. 
  • We’re seeing Texas businesses across the state stepping up to fill the gap in supply shortages – like Unique Software Development in Dallas and Tigé Boatsin Abilene manufacturing face shields for first responders, and Pinkerton’s Distillery in Lubbock producing hand sanitizer, and to name a few. That strength and compassion is what will get us through these difficult days.

We need to quickly develop a cure for COVID-19. 

  • I’ve long championed legislation to reform how the FDA does its approval of drugs. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve introduced targeted reforms aimed at accelerating the FDA’s approval for drugs and devices approved in other countries that could treat COVID-19 patients and help stop this outbreak.
  • It’s also my hope that once we defeat this pandemic, America will move away from being dependent on China for life-saving medications and treatments. To that end, I’ve announced my intention to introduce bipartisan legislation with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) to expand medical partnerships with Israel – an ally and global leader in medicine – to develop coronavirus cures and treatments and lessen that dependence on China.

As I said on Wednesday on Fox News’ ‘The Story’ with Martha MacCallum, had the Chinese government acted responsibly, the coronavirus outbreak might not have turned into a global pandemic and hundreds of thousands of lives, millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars could have been saved. When Congress returns, I plan to introduce legislation that will impose targeted sanctions against the Chinese officials involved in covering up the coronavirus outbreak. 

Even in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis and the economic devastation that has followed, we’ve seen Texans and Americans stand strong and united. This week, I launched the #CombatCOVID19Challenge with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a social media challenge to encourage Americans to continue supporting their communities during these difficult times. To learn more about the challenge and how you can get involved click here.

Keep Texas Strong, 

Ted Cruz

ADDITIONAL updateS FROM SEN. CRUZ

For more information and additional resources, visit www.cruz.senate.gov/coronavirus/. Please read below for an update from this past week.

Sen. Cruz Wraps Up Week Two of Virtual Statewide Tele-Tour
Sen. Cruz on Friday completed another week of his statewide tele-tour across 27 cities to connect with communities combatting COVID-19 and the economic devastation that has followed. Read more...

Sen. Cruz Issues Statement in Support of Governor Abbott’s Request for Relief for Refinery Workers 
Sen. Cruz on Friday issued a statement in support of granting American refineries relief during these three unprecedented crises: the public health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent economic and energy crises, which have been especially devastating for energy producers and blue collar workers in Texas. Letters signed by five state governors, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, sent to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, called for relief during these crises from the regulatory burden imposed by the Renewable Fuel Standard. Read more… 

Sen. Cruz Tapped for President Trump’s Task Force to Re-Open Economy 
Sen. Cruz on Thursday was asked to join President Trump's task force to re-open the economy as the nation continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…  

WATCH: Sen. Cruz on Fox News: China’s Medical Censorship is ‘Threat to National Security & Global Health’ 
Sen. Cruz, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Wednesday, appeared on Fox News' ‘The Story with Martha MacCallum' to discuss his legislation to sanction Chinese officials responsible for censoring whistleblowers and suppressing the sort of medical information that could have prevented the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan from becoming a global pandemic. Watch here… 

Sens. Cruz, Coons Announce Bipartisan Push for Immediate Boost to American-Israel Cooperation for Treating and Curing COVID-19 
U.S. Sens. Cruz and Chris Coons (D-Del.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Thursday announced their intention to press for a $12 million appropriation in the upcoming Phase 4 / CARES 2 bill to enhance partnerships between companies in the United States and Israel to develop innovative medical projects aimed at detecting, treating, and curing COVID-19. The push is modeled on language in their bipartisan Expanding Medical Partnerships with Israel to Lessen Dependence on China ActRead more… 

Sen. Cruz to Introduce Legislation to Expand Healthcare Access & Make Testing More Available 
As the nation works to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and re-open America's economy, Sen. Cruz on Wednesday announced his intention to introduce two pieces of legislation when Congress returns to expand healthcare access and make testing more accessible and widely available. Read more… 

WATCH: Sen. Cruz: It's Time to Reopen the Economy and Get Texans Back to Work 
Sen. Cruz on Wednesday appeared on Lubbock's KCBD News Channel 11 during his statewide tele-tour to talk about the importance of defeating the coronavirus pandemic, getting our economy back on its feet, and getting Texans and the American people safely back to work. Watch here… 

Sens. Cruz, Wicker, Colleagues Urge Trump to Keep Pro-Life Protections for Coronavirus Research 
Sens. Cruz, Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Senate colleagues on Tuesday sent a letter to President Trump urging the Administration to maintain pro-life protections during the search for treatments and cures for COVID-19. The letter, which was signed by 35 senators, refutes a request by 15 pro-abortion state attorneys general requesting waivers to prohibitions on the use of fetal tissue for coronavirus research. Read more…

Sens. Cruz, Lankford, Inhofe, Lead Letter to Treasury, SBA to Ensure Protection for Faith-Based Entities 
Sens. Cruz, James Lankford (R-Okla.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and colleagues in the Senate on Tuesday sent a letter to Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, and Jovita Carranza, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to thank them for the recently issued interim final rule on protections for faith-based entities during the continued rollout of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and related federal economic relief. Read more…  

READ: Sen. Cruz in the New York Post: Social-Distancing Restrictions Are Fine -- Petty Authoritarianism Is Not 
In his new op-ed in the New York Post, Sen. Cruz, warns about the dangers of "pandemic authoritarianism" and urges state and local leaders to protect Americans' civil liberties as we all work together to combat the novel coronavirus. Read more…  

Sen. Cruz to Introduce Legislation Sanctioning Chinese Officials For Censorship and Medical Cover Ups 
Sen. Cruz, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday announced his intention to introduce the "Ending Chinese Medical Censorship and Cover Ups Act of 2020," legislation to sanction Chinese officials involved in the ongoing suppression of medical experts, journalists, and political dissidents, amid Chinese censorship of its citizens that is helping to fuel the global pandemic of the coronavirus. Read more… 

Sens. Cruz, Gillibrand Launch Bipartisan #CombatCOVID19Challenge 
Men and women from all walks of life are doing their part to combat the two crises our nation faces: the serious health crisis caused by COVID-19, and the resulting economic crisis. The strength and resolve of the American spirit will get us through these crises, which is why Sens. Cruz and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Monday launched the #CombatCOVID19Challenge, a social media challenge to encourage Americans to continue supporting their communities as we all work to combat this pandemic and ultimately defeat it together. Read more… 

WATCH: How Chinese Censorship Led to a Global Pandemic 
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact communities in Texas and all across the country, Sen. Cruz, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released a new video, ‘Coronavirus Coverup: How Chinese Censorship Led to a Global Pandemic.' Watch here …

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