Updates from DC: Coronavirus, 2020 Census, & War Powers Resolution

Mar 15, 2020

Dear Friend,

This week, I held a hearing in the Committee on Oversight and Reform to examine the Trump Administration’s preparedness for and response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. At the hearing, health officials testified about the severity of the coronavirus and contradicted many statements from the White House regarding how the Trump Administration is containing the outbreak, including alarming testimony from Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), that Americans should expect “more cases and things will get worse than they are right now.” It is imperative that the we hear the unvarnished truth from these experts so that we can take the best steps forward to mitigate the spread of the virus and implement policies to help Americans weather this crisis.

Late Friday night, in order to help all those around the country contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, I voted with my colleagues to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill importantly makes sure that Americans’ financial situations will not deter them from seeking the medical help they need and that those whose jobs are affected by precautionary measures have access to social safety nets should they need them.

This week I also voted to pass Senator Tim Kaine’s (D-VA) war powers resolution to limit President Trump’s military actions against Iran and the 2020 Census is officially underway. I encourage you all to #GetOutTheCount!

For New York City coronavirus updates, please visit www1.NYC.gov. For further information you can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. I continue to be in touch with local and national public health agencies as we work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and get everyone the care they need.

More on these developments below.


Updates on My Office’s Procedures Regarding COVID-19 Mitigation

Out of an abundance of caution and following public health recommendations on how to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, my office is taking the actions as described below. We will continue to serve the people of New York and all staff members remain reachable via phone and email. I encourage all New Yorkers to follow the guidance put forth by the CDC and our local city and state health officials.

These updates include:

  • All staff will begin telework on Monday, March 16 and all meetings will be moved to telephonic or electronic communication.
  • All offices will be physically closed.
  • Constituent casework will continue uninterrupted. For any urgent matters, constituents can still call the Manhattan office at 212-860-0606 or email urgentNY12@mail.house.gov 
  • The Sergeant-at-Arms has closed the Capitol Building to all public tours, among other restrictions.

Due to these updates, my office’s census pop-up hours have also been cancelled. If you need help filling out your form, please email NY12CensusHelp@mail.house.gov.


Oversight Hearing on the Trump Response to the Coronavirus

Watch Chairwoman Maloney's opening statement here.

This week’s hearing on the Trump Administration’s handling of the coronavirus confirmed that strategic errors and a failure of leadership impaired our nation’s ability to respond to this outbreak, and the Trump Administration’s testing for coronavirus has been severely inadequate, plagued by missteps, and resulted in substantial deficiencies in our ability to determine who may be infected.

As a result, the United States is not leading the world, but instead is falling far behind other nations.  For example, CDC Director Redfield previously testified that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have tested about 4,900 people. By comparison, South Korea tested more than 66,000 people within just one week of its first case of community transmission.

I asked Dr. Fauci, "Is the worst yet to come?" He responded, “Yes, it is.” You can see our full exchange here.

I remain committed to holding the Administration accountable for its response to this pandemic and making sure that all Americans have all the information they need to best protect themselves and their families.

You can read more about the hearing here.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act

As our nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to make sure that families across this country have the resources they need to take care of themselves and their loved ones. We need to make paid leave available so that employees aren’t faced with the impossible decision to give up a paycheck or go into work while sick and we need to make sure that we are looking after Americans’ financial wellbeing, in addition to their health. That is why I was proud to support and vote for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to provide paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, and free coronavirus testing to everyone who needs it, to enhance unemployment insurance, to strengthen food security initiatives, and to increase funding for the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). I urge the Senate to send this bill to the President’s desk immediately.


War Powers Resolution

On Wednesday, the House passed Senator Kaine’s S.J.Res. 68, a war powers resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran. I once again voted for these restrictions, which the House first passed in January when we voted for a similar resolution sponsored by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin.

As I said two months ago, I am deeply opposed to an unauthorized war with Iran and we need to act to ensure that any military action is part of a well thought out strategy that makes Americans safer and does not set us on a war path.


2020 Census

The 2020 Census is now underway! Invitations to fill out the Census started arriving in New Yorkers’ mailboxes on Thursday. Filling out your census form is fast, easy, and incredibly important for our community. Census data determines how the government distributes more than $1.5 trillion in federal funds for things like schools, hospitals, roads and infrastructure projects, first responders, and Medicare and Medicaid. It also determines our voice in government for the next ten years. I cannot stress how important it is that each and every New Yorker be counted.

If you are not counted, you are not represented.

I also want to reiterate that the 2020 Census does not include a citizenship question and your information is safe and secure. The information you share with the bureau will not be shared with anyone – not immigration authorities, law enforcement, or even your landlord.

For more information you can visit My2020Census.gov and if you need help filling out your census, you can email NY12CensusHelp@mail.house.gov.


As always, your concerns still and always will remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website

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Carolyn B. Maloney 

Member of Congress