CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today spoke with members of the West Virginia Regional Planning and Development Councils and the West Virginia Coal Association (WVCA) on teleconference calls where she provided an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. During the call, Senator Capito heard from both groups about their concerns, answered questions, and provided an update on how the third coronavirus relief package—which passed the Senate last Wednesday evening—will aid them during this uncertain time.

“Both the Regional Planning and Development Councils and the Coal Association play such important roles in our state’s economy,” Senator Capito said. “Our entire state has taken a hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which is why we made sure to include provisions in the phase three relief package that would help businesses rebound. Now that President Trump has signed the this relief package into law, both of the groups that I spoke with today, as well as many others, will be able to take advantage of the funding available to help ensure our economy stays strong.”

“We thank Senator Capito for answering our questions today and explaining how the new law will affect our work at the planning and development council. As our communities navigate this uncertain time, we appreciate Senator Capito’s work in securing the funding that’s coming to aid small businesses and workers throughout the country,” said Shane Whitehair, Executive Director of Region VII Planning and Development Council.

“Senator Capito has always been a friend of coal and is extremely responsive to the needs of our industry. We appreciate her answering our questions today and explaining how this legislation will be able to aid the coal industry in this uncertain time,” said Chris Hamilton, West Virginia Coal Association Senior Vice President.

Senator Capito is committed to ensuring all West Virginians are heard during this uncertain time. Senator Capito has participated in numerous calls with West Virginia groups on this issue including the West Virginia Manufacturers’ Association, Philanthropy West Virginia, the West Virginia Municipal League, the West Virginia Association of Counties, the County Commissioners Association of West Virginia, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association (WVHTA), and the West Virginia Hospital Association.

Senator Capito launched a page on her website to help bring current and accurate information to West Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click HERE to access the webpage for the latest updates and resources.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic. Click HERE to read Senator Capito’s statement on this announcement, and keep scrolling to learn more about Senator Capito’s efforts to stay on top of this issue.


Senator Capito continues to be focused on this issue, particularly in ensuring the appropriate agencies have the funding they need to mitigate the spread of the virus, test those feeling ill, and treat those infected.

Senator Capito has been in touch with the White House directly to express the need for more testing kits and additional flexibility for West Virginia’s hospital as the situation continues to evolve. She spoke with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III Administration Mary Ann Tierney about the need for more supplies for health care workers in West Virginia.

As chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Capito has made a point to ask the agencies she funds if they are prepared and ready to combat the coronavirus. Below are more details on Senator Capito’s efforts:

  • Met with a number of officials, including:

  • Communicated with West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Secretary Bill Crouch about the state’s testing issues.

  • Spoke with West Virginia Hospital Association President and CEO Joe Letnaunchyn and West Virginia Health Care Association CEO Marty Wright.

  • Voted in favor of the emergency supplemental funding package to help states treat, prevent, and prepare for the Coronavirus. A portion of the funding provided for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is specifically tied to the FY2019 Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) grant awards for states and localities. In West Virginia, this means the state will receive at least $5 million in funding.

  • Voted in favor of a second emergency supplemental funding package to provide economic relief to individuals, small businesses, and families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
  • Voted in favor of a third coronavirus relief package.

  • Attended a senators-only Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee briefing to ask questions directly of leadership from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

  • Spoke with West Virginia Governor Jim Justice about West Virginia’s preparedness and readiness.

  • During two Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee hearings:


Click here for more information on the coronavirus.


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