Less than 24 hours after U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids’ self quarantine ended, she hopped on a plane to Washington, D.C., to vote yes on the $2 trillion relief package signed into law by President Donald Trump Friday afternoon.
Davids announced on March 19 she was voluntarily self quarantining after learning she came into contact with a fellow member of Congress who tested positive for the coronavirus two weeks ago. Her quarantine period ended yesterday, March 26, just in time to make it to the nation’s capital and vote on the relief bill.
“I thought it was really important to be here because the bill, I mean, while it’s far from perfect, the bill is a step toward providing the much needed relief,” Davids said.
The relief package included items Davids said advocated for, including unemployment benefits and extra small business relief. Additionally, the bill includes investments aimed at hospitals and healthcare workers that are critical during the coronavirus pandemic, she said.
While she feels the relief package is a step in the right direction, Davids said Congress has more work to do to protect the country’s public health and financial security.
“I’m certainly going to keep working really hard to make sure that we’re trying to get relief into place that we need immediately, for the health and the safety and economic security of our community, of our state, of our country,” Davids said.
Although a decent number of members showed up for the voice vote as well as to speak on the bill, Congress practiced social distancing — as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent as well as public health professionals — by being spread out, Davids said.
As for her time in quarantine, Davids said she managed to somehow fit in more meetings via video conferences while also working to learn about how her constituents are being impacted by the pandemic. In addition, she and her team worked to find resources that might help address some of those impacts, which can be found online here.
Davids said she relied on the advice of the House of Representatives’ attending physician, as well as public health officials to decide to self quarantine. She’s continuing to practice social distancing — even as she boarded the plane to D.C. this morning to find maybe eight others on her flight. She said the experience had her feeling grateful for the essential workers who show up every day.
“First of all, I just have so much gratitude for those folks, because they are working tirelessly to try to keep our community as healthy and as safe as possible,” Davids said.