Coronavirus - COVID-19

South Dakotans,

I have added a coronavirus resource page to my website to keep South Dakotans updated on the latest coronavirus developments. Information will be added regularly, and you can also follow me on Twitter at @RepDustyJohnson or on Facebook at Representative Dusty Johnson for updated information.

As your representative, I’m here to serve you. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to my offices in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, or Washington.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Congressional Action

President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act will provide over $2.2 trillion in direct aid to individuals, families, small businesses, and state and local governments. Additionally, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act was signed into law on Friday, March 6. The bill provided $7.8 billion in additional funding for federal, state, and local government responses to the coronavirus, including $4 billion for additional diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccine development.

The bill also included nearly $1 billion for state and local response efforts. South Dakota will receive funds, which will be used for personal protective equipment and medical supplies, grants for local health departments and hospitals, and equipment to test samples.

Congress also passed a Coronavirus aid package (H.R. 6201) to provide free COVID-19 testing and nutritional aid.  

Resources

For Our Businesses:

For Our Communities & Students:

Staying Healthy:

  • Make sure to wash your hands
  • Refrain from touching your face. 
  • If you're feeling sick, stay at home.
  • Avoid groups of 10 people or more.
  • Practice social distancing and wear a mask. 

More tips are available on the CDC's website here.

Travel Assistance:

  • CDC travel health notices can be found here
  • International travel guidance issued by the Department of State is available here
  • State Department and specific country advisories are listed here.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus – fever, cough, shortness of breath – and have been in close contact with a person known to have coronavirus or have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of coronavirus, make sure to contact your health care provider immediately.

If you think you may have coronavirus, the CDC recommends calling your provider ahead of time for guidance on how the facility is handling cases before visiting the hospital in order to keep others from being exposed. 

More on Coronavirus - COVID-19

October 21, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) introduced the Securing Affordable Vaccines Equally (SAVE) for Seniors Act, bipartisan legislation that would ensure seniors on traditional Medicare have access to a future COVID-19 vaccine without cost-sharing.

September 18, 2020 Weekly Column

Congress passed the last COVID-19 relief bill 174 days ago. Hundreds of thousands of Americans – schools, families, and small businesses – are still struggling from this virus. Both the House and the Senate have proposed vastly different proposals to help these hurting Americans. The House passed a bill with a $3T price tag – that’s too much spending so I voted no. The Senate has offered several packages with a lower price tag, but Senate Democrats have offered no support. We need to find common ground.

September 18, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) made a statement following President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide $14 billion for agriculture producers still struggling from COVID-19 supply chain disruption. The second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020.

September 17, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Tuesday, September 15, 2020, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus – 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans -- unveiled its “March To Common Ground” framework to help break the gridlock on the latest COVID-19 relief package and encourage negotiators to get back to the table. 

The 50-member bipartisan Caucus, developed and came together in support of the framework after extensive listening to constituents and outreach to stakeholders over the past six weeks.

September 3, 2020 Weekly Column

Over the last week, many schools across South Dakota resumed classes – both in-person and online. This marks the beginning of a sense of normalcy many of our kids are experiencing for the first time in several months. 

Although there’s nothing normal about wearing masks or attending classes virtually, this is our reality for the time being and thankfully our students and teachers are making the best of it. Our kids are just thankful to see their friends and teachers. 

August 12, 2020 In The News

Rep. Dusty Johnson stood in the Slumberland parking lot late Wednesday afternoon, preparing for a shift of helping out with the latest food box giveaway at the Mitchell Food Pantry.

“This is where the rubber really hits the road,” Johnson told the Mitchell Republic. “This is where all the lofty ideas in Washington, D.C. actually get deployed in helping families in need.”

July 28, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.-AL) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) introduced the COVID-19 Telehealth Program Extension Act to appropriate additional funds to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) COVID-19 Telehealth Program authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

July 22, 2020 In The News

Today, the House Agriculture Committee’s Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations Subcommittee held a hearing to review the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Box program. After the hearing, Subcommittee Ranking Member Dusty Johnson (SD-AL) and Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) released the following remarks:

July 21, 2020 In The News

Representatives Abigail Spanberger, D-Va.-07, and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., led a 41-member, bipartisan effort calling on the Federal Communications Commission to provide greater certainty and support to health care providers who offer telehealth services, according to a news release from Spanberger's team.

July 17, 2020 Weekly Column

In March, when things went from 0 to 100 at the beginning of the pandemic, our health care system was forced to adapt quickly on so many levels. With patients no longer allowed to visit hospitals in-person for regular appointments, we needed a solution – and fast.

Telehealth was the answer. The administration quickly expanded Medicare’s telehealth coverage during the pandemic, ensuring our seniors had access to their providers from the safety of their own home. 

July 16, 2020 In The News

August is just around the corner – can you believe it? It is almost hard to process. For more than five months, most of the country has had their K-12 aged kids at home, full-time. Five months.

May 29, 2020 Weekly Column

Last I heard, 20 million Americans had not received their stimulus checks.

In the three months since the CARES Act passed Congress, I’ve been patient. South Dakotans have been patient – all while waiting for the help some of them desperately need.

My patience has run low. My office has heard from hundreds of South Dakotans who are not only waiting on stimulus checks but are also waiting months for their tax returns. This is unacceptable.

May 28, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) issued a statement following the U.S. House passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, a bill Johnson cosponsored to revamp some of the rules within the current PPP:

May 28, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) spoke on the U.S. House Floor regarding the Internal Revenue Services’ (IRS) lack of customer service for constituents needing Economic Impact Payments and tax filing support.

 IRS speech

May 21, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Angie Craig (D-MN) introduced the Small Packer Overtime and Holiday Fee Relief COVID-19 Act to support small meatpacking plants working overtime during COVID-19. Amid large plant closures, small packing plants have extended hours to ensure our supply chain keeps moving – this comes with added costs.

May 20, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM), both members of the House Agriculture Committee, introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to address the urgent issues facing America’s agriculture economy and food supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Farming Support to States Act would provide states access to immediate, flexible funding to ensure farmers and rural businesses have the tools needed to respond and rebuild more resilient supply chains right here in South Dakota. U.S.

May 15, 2020 Weekly Column

People like to compare the U.S. and China, so much so I think many people have forgotten a key point – our values are not the same, not even close. Large economies, yes, but China is a communist, authoritarian nation with a state-run media and a government obsessed with surveillance and control.

May 12, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allow meat and poultry products that have been inspected by state-approved meat and poultry inspection programs to be donated or sold across state lines.

May 4, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Along with 24 of his U.S. House colleagues, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide the findings of the agency’s beef pricing investigation to Congress as soon as possible. Following the announcement of the USDA’s Packers and Stockyard Division investigation in August of 2019, Secretary Perdue extended USDA’s investigation last month to determine the causes of divergence between live beef and box prices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 1, 2020 Weekly Column

Mother’s Day will look differently this year. Families will have their Sunday brunch at home and our kids won’t be bringing back handmade crafts orchestrated by their gracious teachers who have saved many a dad throughout the years. Friendly reminder dads – Mother’s Day is a few days out. 

May 1, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today urged the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide additional guidance to ensure seasonal businesses that have already applied for or received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan can recalculate their loan award to maximize the assistance they can receive through PPP.

April 28, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on U.S. supply chains: 

April 28, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Austin Scott (GA-08), along with several House colleagues, introduced legislation to increase funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) response to COVID-19. The legislation would provide an additional $50 billion for USDA to expand relief efforts for farmers and ranchers. Click here to read the full bill. 

April 24, 2020 Weekly Column

Over the past weeks and months, we have stress-tested our economy, our health care system, and the resilience of the American people. This pandemic has also tested our food supply systems. While we fully expect grocery store shelves to remain stocked, it does not mean there won’t be impacts further up the chain, especially for South Dakota farmers and ranchers.

 

April 23, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today applauded a deal that will refill funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In South Dakota, more than 11,324 small businesses received funding through the PPP, amounting to over $1.37 billion in loans. The deal is headed to the president’s desk. 

April 21, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today applauded a congressional deal that will refill funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expand eligibility for farmers and ranchers to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). Agricultural businesses with less than 500 employees will be eligible for the EIDL program.

April 17, 2020 Weekly Column

As of April 13th, nearly eight thousand Paycheck Protection Program loan applications were approved in South Dakota alone. Our state has seen $1.15 billion go out to businesses facing devastating losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While America is facing a crisis, we can hold onto hope. The CARES Act was focused on ensuring our businesses are still there when we come out on the other side of this pandemic. 

April 16, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTONU.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today led a bipartisan, bicameral letter urging U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to take immediate action to assist pork producers and maintain the pork food supply chain. The letter follows the closure of the Smithfield processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Smithfield also recently announced the closure of its plant in Martin City, Missouri, which receives raw materials from the Sioux Falls plant.

April 10, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) joined House Agriculture Committee Republicans and Ranking Member Conaway in urging the Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure SBA approved lenders are not wrongfully turning eligible farmers and ranchers away when applying for the Paycheck Protection Program. 

April 8, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today urged President Trump to oversee a comprehensive, multi-agency investigation following continuous cattle market volatility. In 2019, Johnson urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide a thorough investigation to producers following cattle market volatility after the August 2019 Holcomb, Kansas, Tyson beef processing plant fire. 

April 1, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and U.S. Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) today led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that he provide immediate assistance to cattle producers by using the resources provided in the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stabilization (CARES) Act, including the replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and additional emergency funding.

March 27, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today issued a statement following the bipartisan passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Previously, Johnson supported two legislative packages to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and provide federal reimbursement to small employers for paid sick and emergency leave provided to their employees. Rep.

March 27, 2020 Weekly Column

Q: Will I receive a $1,200 check from the federal government to help with the economic stress of COVID-19?

March 26, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) applauded passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes provisions the delegation helped secure to support South Dakota farmers and ranchers. Specifically, the CARES Act includes $14 billion to replenish the U.S. Department of Agriculture Commodity Credit Corporation.

March 20, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today applauded the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) for granting South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s request to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 20, 2020 Weekly Column

It’s no secret, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed serious hardships on many South Dakotans and Americans across the country. From the closing of schools, to the negative effects on small businesses, as well as the struggles of social isolation, this illness is greatly affecting all our day-to-day lives. To mitigate these effects, South Dakota’s delegation is working around the clock alongside our state and local officials to provide relief to those affected.

March 19, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Roger Marshall M.D. (R-KS) today urged U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to ensure relief for rural America, specifically cattle ranchers, is included in any Phase III COVID-19 stimulus agreement.

March 19, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today urged the United States Small Business Administration to grant South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s request to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

March 18, 2020 Blog Post

Ways and Means Republicans assembled a comprehensive FAQ to help explain how the federal government is responding to the coronavirus pandemic. It covers what small businesses, seniors, and workers need to know and is broken into sections about what Congress has passed, what Congress is going to do next, and what the Administration has done to help Americans fight this global pandemic.

Phase I Package

Small Businesses

I’m worried my small business will have to close due to financial issues. Will there be more assistance?

March 18, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) praised the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) decision to expand commercial drivers’ hours-of-service during the national COVID-19 pandemic.

March 16, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue urging the department to take all necessary steps to ensure there are no disruptions to our nation’s food supply chain as we combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

March 13, 2020 Weekly Column

Over the last few days, South Dakota has confirmed several cases of COVID-19, known as the coronavirus. While I am confident that our state and local governments will work together to protect the health of our communities, it is important that we all take extra precautions to support vulnerable populations during this time.

March 12, 2020 Weekly Column

South Dakotans,

I have added a coronavirus resource page to my website to keep South Dakotans updated on the latest coronavirus developments. Information will be added regularly, and you can also follow me on Twitter at @RepDustyJohnson or on Facebook at Representative Dusty Johnson for updated information.

February 28, 2020 Weekly Column

If you’ve turned on the news in the last month or so you’ve probably heard this word over and over: Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19. 

This week, the president addressed the nation regarding the U.S. response to the outbreak. So far, officials have determined more than 80,000 cases globally – the majority of them in China.