Concord, NH – Today, Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) held a telephone town hall to discuss the COVID-19 (coronavirus) public health crisis and take questions from New Hampshire residents. Kuster and Pappas were joined on the call by George N. Copadis, Commissioner of New Hampshire Employment Security; Richard Lavers, Deputy Commissioner of New Hampshire Employment Security; and Dr. Michael Calderwood, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Epidemiologist and Infectious Disease Expert.
The Representatives and officials answered questions from Granite Staters about New Hampshire’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak and steps Congress is taking to bolster the local health response and provide economic relief to families and small businesses.
Questions focused on unemployment benefits, the availability of coronavirus testing, small business assistance, the US Postal Service, and health insurance. At a time when more than 100,000 Granite Staters have applied for unemployment benefits in only a matter of weeks, many people had questions about unemployment assistance – this town hall provided callers an opportunity to ask questions of New Hampshire Employment Security officials about eligibility and applying for unemployment assistance.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, these telephone town halls have provided an invaluable opportunity to hear directly from Granite Staters about the challenges they are facing due to this health crisis,” said Kuster. “These conversations are important as we work to keep New Hampshire residents informed and respond to the needs of our state. Tomorrow morning, I will travel to Washington to vote in favor of legislation to provide much-needed resources and funding for New Hampshire small businesses, workers, hospitals, and families. I thank Commissioner Copadis, Deputy Commissioner Lavers, and Dr. Calderwood for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us today. As always, people who have questions or are in need of assistance can contact my team by giving our Concord office a call at (603) 226-1002 or visiting my website at Kuster.house.gov.”
“As Granite Staters continue to navigate these difficult times, Congresswoman Kuster and I remain committed to ensuring our state has the federal resources it needs,” said Congressman Pappas. “I’m pleased that we will approve legislation tomorrow that will support New Hampshire’s small businesses and hospitals while increasing our testing capacity. As we heard from our constituents tonight, we need to get these resources into our communities as soon as we can. This series of telephone town halls has allowed us to stay in touch with our constituents, connect them with available resources, and elevate the voices of our local experts to answer questions and share their knowledge. If there are constituents who are in need of assistance from our federal agencies, I strongly encourage them to reach out to my office for help by calling (603) 285-4300 or going to https://pappas.house.gov/.”
Kuster and Pappas have held seven telephone town halls since March 10th where they have reached more than 65,000 Granite Staters. The Representatives will continue to keep communities updated on federal efforts to support and protect people in New Hampshire and across the country. This tele-town hall was conducted remotely, as both Reps. Kuster and Pappas are working from home when possible to practice physical distancing.