Senator West’s Plan To Boost Manufacturing, Improve American Infrastructure, and Create Jobs to Cope with COVID-19 and the Future (press release)

The COVID-19 Pandemic has clearly illustrated America’s need to boost manufacturing at home, improve American infrastructure, create American jobs, and more–all to make our nation more secure at home and a more competitive economic force in the world. A comprehensive plan is necessary to help move America’s economy in the right direction. 

BOOSTING MANUFACTURING IN KEY SECTORS

The COVID-19 Pandemic has shown that Americans can no longer depend on foreign-manufactured medical devices, drugs, or equipment. We must begin manufacturing these products at home. The health of our people and our national security depend on strong medical manufacturing in the United States.

  • As our U.S. Senator, Senator West will propose tax incentives for companies that bring medical manufacturing to the United States in the areas of medical devices and equipment, over-the-counter and prescription medications, and personal protective equipment. These businesses would be required to meet employment goals, refrain from outsourcing jobs to other countries, and avoid use of offshore tax havens. We must also create tax incentives for private investment.
  • As our U.S. Senator, Senator West will introduce legislation to promote federal grants and federal dollars being appropriated to states to distribute to local governments to promote economic development by attracting medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing with set-asides for a certain amount of the money to go to rural areas, economically depressed areas, etc. 

RESTORE AND REINFORCE LOCAL CONTROL

  • As our U.S. Senator, Senator West will author clear legislation to outline federal and local responsibilities during pandemics, with emphasis on federal dollars and strong federal coordination and guidance based on science, while allowing local governments to retain reasonable control over pandemic responses based on the facts on the ground where they are.

MEDICAL DEVICE SUPPORT FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES

  • As our U.S. Senator, Senator West will author legislation creating the National Medical Device Bank through FEMA. This legislation will create and provide federal funding for a national bank of ventilators, respirators, oxygen tanks, and other critical-needs equipment. This legislation will also have an automatic trigger, opening the national medical device bank in the event of natural disasters or the declaration of the World Health Organization declaring a particular disease, such as COVID-19, a pandemic. 

STRENGTHENING RESEARCH TO IMPROVE OUR PANDEMIC RESPONSE

  • As our U.S. Senator, Senator West will author legislation to create a $10 billion dollar fund for medical research, through American public universities exclusively related to pandemic-type diseases in the SARS and Coronavirus classifications. This legislation will restrict any vaccine, drugs, or treatment protocols developed with this federal money to being distributed as close to “at cost” as feasible, or with any minor profits going back to fund more research grants. This will lower the cost for life-saving medical treatment and vaccines developed as we prepare to face further global pandemics. 

NATIONAL SECURITY RELATED TO PANDEMICS

  • As our U.S. Senator, Senator West will author legislation strengthening Public Law No: 116-22, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 by creating an inspector general position with authority to review all federal government pandemic response efforts. 
  • As our U.S. Senator, Senator West will introduce legislation providing National Guard and active military called up for the pandemic response “Hostile Fire Pay.”

IMPROVING INFRASTRUCTURE TO FACILITATE STAY AT HOME WORK FROM HOME EDUCATE FROM HOME 

  • Senator West supports immediate financial appropriation for emergency infrastructure dollars for rural America to increase broadband and 5G capabilities. 
  • Senator West supports immediate appropriations dollars to rural schools to provide mobile devices and hot-spots for children in rural areas. Senator West proposes similar programs for colleges, and junior and community colleges, with emphasis on HBCUs to get laptops and hot spots into the hands of rural and impoverished students, in data deserts

IMPROVING HEALTHCARE FOR EVERY AMERICAN

  • As our U.S. Senator, Senator West will author legislation creating an automatic enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act triggered within 14-days of the World Health Organization declaring a state of global pandemic. 
  • As our U.S. Senator, Senator West will author legislation creating a Rural Hospital Poverty Medical Care Pool. This will provide money to rural hospitals so they can write of the expenses of those in poverty and on the edge of poverty with no other insurance or government assistance. 

LONG TERM, STRUCTURAL GOVERNMENT CHANGES TO MAKE LIFE BETTER NOW AND IN THE FUTURE

  • As our U.S. Senator, Senator West will author legislation to raise unemployment benefits at the federal level to cover 75 percent of a person’s salary, for persons making up to $75,000 per year, for 26 weeks of benefits.

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