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.
I’ll say it right off the bat, the Class of 2020 graduation looks different than those of the past – that’s no secret. Graduating amid a pandemic shouldn’t make your day any less special, though. A graduation day is still something to celebrate and all of South Dakota knows our 2020 graduates worked hard to get to where they are.
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.
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.
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.
Q: Will I receive a $1,200 check from the federal government to help with the economic stress of COVID-19?
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.
Earlier this week, the South Dakota delegation hosted Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert Wilkie, Jr. for a tour of the Hot Springs VA and a roundtable discussion about the vital role this facility serves for the local veteran community. The Hot Springs community’s identity and purpose has long been grounded in serving veterans at the historic Battle Mountain facility.