Republican Kansas 3rd Congressional District candidates on the issues: Federal government’s response to pandemic

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at a briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic this spring. Photo credit The White House.

Last month, we asked our readers what issues they wanted to hear the candidates running for office address ahead of this summer’s primary elections. Based on the input we received, we developed a five-item questionnaire for Republican candidates running for the Kansas 3rd Congressional District seat.

We’re publishing the candidates’ responses to one item per day each day this week. Today we’ve got the candidates’ responses to item three:

Are you satisfied with the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Why or why not?

Sara Hart Weir

2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges for our country. In terms of the coronavirus pandemic, while he faced tremendous ridicule at the time from Democrat leaders and the many in the media, President Trump was right to quickly close off travel coming into the United States from China. From the initial outbreak of the disease in Wuhan Province, the Chinese Communist Party continually lied to the world about every aspect of the threat. Additionally, President Trump was right to enable governor’s to make appropriate decisions for their states. While managing the health factors had to be the government’s number one concern, it was clear from the outset that COVID-19 was also certainly going to drastically impact our economy. Therefore, with important factors — such as population density — that impact the spread of the virus, it was important that states like Kansas were able to tailor their response to be different from states like New York.

However, President Trump also didn’t just leave every state to handle the situation on their own. The executive branch of the federal government worked with manufacturers to get states the right equipment they needed, and The White House quickly worked to get Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx front and center to provide the American people with the health information they needed coming directly from the world’s foremost leaders in infectious diseases.

Amanda Adkins

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States continues to rise, Americans people don’t want politics, they want leadership and clear direction. I am the only candidate in this race who has released a vision and plan in response to the Coronavirus. You can access my plan in more detail here.

I believe the nation needs a three-point COVID-19 response plan that improves upon: 1.) disease detection; 2.) risk mitigation; and 3.) supply chain management. Each of these components is critical to reopening our communities safely and efficiently.

While we have seen improvements in disease detection and are learning more about preventing the spread of the disease, America remains vulnerable when it comes to medical supply chain management. Specifically, the US medical supply chain remains dangerously dependent on China. Many medical and drug products are manufactured in China which continues to operate at reduced capacity, is providing limited information and is forcing delays in product delivery. The Federal government needs to take more aggressive steps in oversight, planning and security of the US medical supply chain.

US healthcare providers – our communities’ first line of defense – should not have to depend on a medical supply chain that is coming from a single country. Let me be clear – I strongly support international business, but the role of the Federal Government is first and foremost the safety and security of our citizens.

The threat from China has been decades in the making and worsening because of dysfunction in Washington.

I am running for Congress because I believe America needs more conservative, reform minded and results-oriented leaders. It is clear more than ever that Congress needs Members who have healthcare and business experience. As a mother, a businesswomen and someone who cares deeply about my community, I am committed to getting our nation back on track.

Mike Beehler

I am very sensitive to vulnerable Americans. My mother and my in-laws are among them. They have decided to be cautious and currently engage in the recommended healthcare practices related to COVID-19. President Trump made his initial recommendations to the states based on wildly wrong projections provided by “medical experts” of 2.5-4 million deaths due to the coronavirus. Books are being written about the genesis of the virus, the wild swings in projections and varying state by state reactions, and the short and long-term lesions learned. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) supposedly made healthcare available to vulnerable Americans and yet COVID-19 is hitting them the hardest. Among the lessons we’ve affirmed is how unreliable the federal government can be in managing our health and healthcare. Meanwhile, the Republican Party, under the able leadership of President Trump, must rebuild the economy for the 300,000 Kansans and 40 million Americans who lost their jobs due to the massive economic shutdown we endured. Let states provide social safety nets for healthcare. When we rebuild the economy back to the pre-COVID-19 record-setting results in unemployment across all sectors, employers will compete for workers with better wages and better benefits. Among those benefits will be great healthcare options for Kansas workers, made even better by new competition among providers.

Adrienne Vallejo Foster

I do not think that the Federal Government should have closed down the entire United States at one time. Not all States of the U.S. were infected at the same time. Each Governor should have assessed the situation based off of what they were seeing and they along with City/County officials should have made the decision to open and/or close our businesses. I believe that government closest to the people are the best decision makers.

Tom Love

Did not respond.

Tomorrow we’ll publish the candidates’ responses to item four:

In response to the national protests following the killing of George Floyd, President Trump has signed an executive order on police reforms. The order calls for improved credentialing of police departments, better tracking of complaints about officers who use excessive force, and better services to address issues like homelessness, mental health and drug addiction. Will this adequately address concerns about police brutality? If not, what other steps should be taken?