Rep. Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, spoke Thursday, April 23 on the House floor in support of a $484 billion relief aid package and revealed publicly that her sister is dying of COVID-19 in a St. Louis hospital.
"I'm going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister, who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, right now, infected by the coronavirus," the Democratic California legislator said as she spoke on the measure, which Congress eventually passed.
She lowered her face mask so that she could be heard, her voice becoming emotional as she continued to describe the contents of the bill. Other members of Congress were also wearing face masks and keeping in line with social distance measures.
"This legislation provides $370 billion in funding for small businesses as well as $100 billion for hospitals and coronavirus testing,” she said, adding that $60 billion would be set aside for community development, financial institutions, minority and community banks, credit unions, micro-lenders and others who help small and minority businesses.
President Trump has supported the package and is expected to sign the bill.
Waters is just the most recent member of Congress whose family has been personally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently revealed the loss of her brother, Donald Herring to the disease in a tweet.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 50,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19 complications of 869,000 infected. Globally, 2.7 million people have been infected and 192,000 have died.
For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
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