‘This is about saving lives’ Senator Lindsey Graham talks federal response to coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW)- On the heels of America’s deadliest day of the pandemic, Senator Lindsey Graham said social distancing guidelines can stop the spread, as experts said the coronavirus is expected to peak in the next two weeks.

“We’re all playing catch up, but the president has done a good job I think. Five weeks ago this thing hit basically,” said Senator Lindsey Graham.

Senator Graham said testing has increased from hundreds of people to more than a million, and test that give results in minutes not days are on the way.

Financial relief is also coming, as cash payments from the federal government will be here in two to three weeks. Small businesses could see a boost in that same timeframe. Right now, small businesses can apply to borrow two and half times their payroll. If they keep people employed it becomes a grant.

“My concern is that the unemployment system is going to be overwhelmed, and it’s going to take along time to get the checks. We should be spending a lot of time and effor to get these checks out of the door,” said Sen. Graham.

Graham cites an outdated system run by the state as one problem and is willing to use grant money for upgrades. Horry County topped the state with the number of unemployment claims nearly two weeks ago. Graham said the summer will be tough in Myrtle Beach.

“Hopefully by the summer the virus will get hurt by the heat so we can begin to open up the economy, but 2020 is going to be loss year for a lot of businesses,” said Graham.

Other things being looked at in the next phase of the stimulus package include more money for state and local governments who are losing out on revenue and 2 trillion dollars for infrastructure which graham says could help pay for I-73.

“It’s the greatest expenditure in the history of the federal government for a single event, but let me just say this. There was no other alternative. We’ll find ways to generate money, but once you lose your life. You lost your life. To me this is about saving lives,” said Sen. Graham.

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