(WHNT) – Senator Doug Jones and Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, the Director of UAB Division of Infectious Diseases took to Facebook Thursday to update Alabama on the COVID-19 efforts in the state.
In the town hall, Senator Jones calls on Governor Ivey to issue a shelter-in-place or stay at home order. He says the order would get the critical importance of social distancing across and says a national shelter-in-place would have been better earlier.
Dr. Marrazzo also supports such the order and says people’s health should not be political.
He says that the bottom line in Alabama is that our health care response is getting overwhelmed and that the federal response needs to be more coordinated.
Sen. Jones also calls on President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act in order to create needed medical supplies amid the outbreak. He then praises businesses that have stepped up so far to help in efforts to supply face shields, PPE, and ventilators.
Jones says Alabama is in need of millions of testing kits in order to flatten the curve.
He says states are competing against each other against FEMA to get supplies and it doesn’t have to be that way.
“In Alabama, we’re waiting on 20,000 new testing kits. We need millions. There’s an alarming lack of test in underserved and African-American communities,” Sen. Jones.
He says Alabama has all the pre-existing conditions that this disease attacks.
“Alabama is critically unprepared and underresourced to weather the storm we’re in the midst of and it could get worse,” said Jones.
Jones says he is pushing for open enrollment for ACA amid the outbreak. Also says he will continue to push for Medicaid expansion.
“Go ahead an expand Medicaid now. We have additional money coming in. 300K Alabamians would get additional coverage from the government,” Jones.
Sen. Jones encourages Alabamians to call on their state leaders.
Senator Jones says he doesn’t want a mixed message about the economy.
“We help this economy by staying home. By staying home, we can stop the spread, and we can get this economy rolling soon,” said Jones.
He emphasized the importance of social distancing and paying attention to the experts.
Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo says the novel coronavirus is creating a disaster and appropriate fear. She says people are having a hard time fighting it because we’ve never seen it before.
“Our bodies as a species have never seen this virus. That is why people are having such a hard time handling it after being infected,” said Marrazzo.
She emphasizes that the virus is incredibly infectious.
She says it’s not enough to avoid people who seem sick. She said young people do not get a pass, the virus is affecting all ages. She says there are currently no vaccines and the earliest we could see one 14-16 months from now or more.
“The situation is dire,” said Marrazzo.
For questions related to the COVID-19, visit Jones.senate.gov/coronavirus.