Congressman Jim Cooper weighs in on COVID-19 response in Tennessee

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WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 29: U.S. President Donald Trump’s name appears on the coronavirus economic assistance checks that were sent to citizens across the country April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. The initial 88 million payments totaling nearly $158 billion were sent by the Treasury Department last week as most of the country remains under stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — U.S. Representative Jim Cooper expressed his thoughts on how Tennessee is doing with COVID-19 response during a Zoom discussion with Nashville Vice Mayor Jim Shulman on Saturday.

Cooper said Tennessee has gotten billions of dollars in federal funding, which he said will help keep counties from becoming bankrupt during the pandemic.

Tennessee has received $5 billion dollars in the last three months from the CARES Act. Cooper said District 5, including Davidson, Cheatham and Dickson, also received $1.2 billion dollars from stimulus and unemployment checks.

Cooper said he discussed when Governor Bill Lee would start spending the federal money, but Lee said his team is still evaluating where is best to put those funds within the state.

“Basically he said he wanted maximum flexibility and he didn’t have to spend any of it til the end of the year. and i reminded him that we usually need help now during the pandemic. and the end of the year that’s not going to help us a whole lot. so he’s struggling,” Cooper said.

Cooper said he’s pleased to see the medical response in Nashville to create solutions for this healthcare crisis.

“Bottom line on COVID I think is this. our scientists are racing to find a cure. We have some superb scientists here in Nashville. I’m particularly proud of Vanderbilt. We have an amazing healthcare assemblance here in Nashville. Congress’ main role has been to fund these things. to fund testing, to fund research, and most important of all to fund relief,” Cooper said.

Congressman Cooper also expressed the importance of voting during the zoom discussion. As well as his thoughts on the federal response during this pandemic.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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