Skip to content

Congressman Jason Smith

Congressman Jason Smith

Glimmers of Hope

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, our entire nation has been impacted on a scale not seen for generations. While the country has been upended by this massive disruption to our daily lives, I’ve constantly reminded Congressional Leaders and the White House about the unique needs of our rural communities. I’ve shared with them concerns I’ve heard directly from our medical providers, farmers, family businesses, and veterans across southern Missouri. Thankfully, the Trump Administration continues to listen and respond to the needs of rural America.

Just this week, I had a call with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma about how they can provide additional assistance to rural providers and patients. I also spoke with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and the head of the Small Business Administration, Jovita Carranza, to share with them the concerns from our local farmers and family business owners. I even had the chance to speak with Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Deborah Birx, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who are on the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, leading the Administration’s response to this pandemic. While I will continue advocating for our rural communities during this difficult time, I know that full relief will not come until we reignite our economy and allow southern Missourians to do what they do best by getting back to work and delivering for their families. Thankfully, after weeks of dire warnings, the Coronavirus Task Force delivered some good news.

On Wednesday, the Task Force said we are starting to see “glimmers of hope” in our fight against the coronavirus. This optimism is based on updated data, which shows there are declining hospitalization and infection rates around the country. There was also a new projection from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle. The report expects the death toll from this coronavirus outbreak to be around 60,000. While no death from this disease is an acceptable outcome, these updated estimates are truly astonishing considering initial death toll projections went as high as 2.2 million Americans. These glimmers of hope are the direct result of the hard work done by the American people. Our country has seen a precipitous drop in the projected death toll because of the strong public response; people across this country who are heeding the advice of their local officials to help slow the spread of the virus. The Trump Administration has supported the American people’s efforts by empowering those local decision-makers and also providing strong executive leadership when it’s needed most.

 President Trump’s actions have saved the lives of countless Americans, but, best of all, the values guiding the President’s decisions are the same values we take pride in here in Missouri. He’s trimmed the bulky and burdensome federal government, allowing it to respond more nimbly to the various needs across the country. Just look at the FDA, which has some of the most bloated bureaucracy in the entire federal government. The President has reigned it in and streamlined its lengthy approval process to expedite drug treatments and vaccine trials, promoting choice on the front lines. Instead of allowing bureaucrats in Washington to control an individual’s medical decisions, patients are able to work with their doctors to receive the treatments that work best for them. He’s also partnered with private companies to expand testing and accelerate treatment options while increasing the production of vital medical equipment like ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care providers. These public-private partnerships have provided timely assistance to doctors, nurses, and medical providers working on the frontlines in this fight against the coronavirus.

At every turn in this war against the invisible enemy, the American people have taken the lead. As hard as that has been for some, the patriotic responses from communities across this country are why we are already starting to see glimmers of hope in these dark times. It has not only united communities across this country, but it has demonstrated to the world that you don’t need a big, centralized government to micromanage the lives of their citizens to overcome a pandemic. You don’t need communist-style lockdowns like the ones in China to defeat the coronavirus. Instead, you need to empower the people and their local leaders to make the best decisions for their community. After all, it will be our local communities that will get us through this crisis. Even this Easter Sunday, while families may be scattered across the country and unable to celebrate in their local church, our shared faith and values will keep us united no matter the physical distance.

I wish you and your family a blessed Easter weekend. He is risen!