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South Texas Congressman backing bill to compensate victims of COVID-19

A new bill introduced by South Texas Congressman Filemon Vela would provide funds to victims of COVID-19.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — A United States Congressman from South Texas has announced the introduction of a new bill that if passed would give financial assistance to victims of COVID-19.

Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34) unveiled the legislation Monday morning and says the bill is modeled after the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and establishes a review process to help people that have become ill or have died as a result of COVID-19. 

“The novel coronavirus has drastically altered the lives of millions of Americans,” said Congressman Filemon Vela. "While other nations have swiftly enacted policies and procedures to flatten the curve and protect their nations’ citizens, America’s response, under the failed leadership of the Trump Administration, has been marred by a lack of a unified, coordinated and effective response. The consequences of these failures have now resulted in the loss of over 130,000 American lives, and millions of Americans infected by the virus."

There is still a lot that is unknown about the virus, including the long term effects on the human body.

“Scientists are still in the process of determining the long-term health effects of this deadly virus, though it is becoming more and more clear that many individuals will have months or years of health issues. The toll this virus has taken on those who have passed away or survived this deadly virus will be felt for years to come," said Congressman Vela.

As a COVID-19 survivor, Ivy Jay Arroyo, says ongoing physical, emotional and psychological issues are problems that continue to cause suffering.

“Our GREAT country tragically mourns the loss of more than 130,000 individuals to this virus. Thousands more have been infected, and sadly, I expect these numbers will continue to climb. Establishing the Victim’s Compensation Fund proposed in Congressman Vela’s bill is, quite simply, the right thing to do and a truly compassionate act. I strongly support the Coronavirus Victims Compensation Fund Act of 2020,” says Arroyo.

According to a news release sent out by Congressman Vela's office the Coronavirus Victims Compensation Fund of 2020 would:

Establish a compensation fund for eligible Americans who have become ill or died as a result of COVID-19;

The compensation application would allow eligible Americans to provide information regarding the extent of their loss for consideration;

Individuals would receive compensation no later than 20 days after the Special Master determines the amount of compensation due;

Authorize appropriated funds as needed for five years with the fund permanently closing one fiscal year after the Special Master determines that no additional claims can be filed;

Create a new website and office developed and administered by a Special Master to assist in the application process.

To read the full text of the bill, click HERE.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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