Congressmen Fred Keller and John Joyce hold virtual discussion on COVID-19

October 30, 2020
Press Release
Highlight efforts underway to develop vaccine and aid economic recovery

Washington, D.C. – In case you missed it, yesterday Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) held a virtual discussion with Congressman John Joyce (R-PA), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Doctors Caucus, about Congress’ latest recovery efforts, including the latest news on vaccine development from Operation Warp Speed.


Congressman Keller highlighted the important role that a safe, FDA-approved vaccine produced through Operation Warp Speed will have in rebuilding our way of life.


On Operation Warp Speed:


Under the leadership of President Donald Trump and his administration, Operation Warp Speed was established as a public-private partnership aimed at accelerating the development, manufacturing, and distribution of over 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA.


While typical vaccine development takes up to 15 years, Operation Warp Speed  is able to test, approve, and manufacture vaccines simultaneously, creating an environment that will allow us to rapidly distribute a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable populations across the United States faster than ever before.


Most recently, 50 states, eight territories, and six major metropolitan areas began submitting their distribution plans in coordination with Operation Warp Speed and the Centers for Disease Control.


In order to fully reopen our economy and get life back on track, we need a safe, FDA-approved vaccine that will get us across the finish line.


Congressman Keller also touched on the role of rural hospitals during this pandemic, noting his legislation, the RURAL HELP Act, that would ensure these critical facilities remain operational and able to provide important care to rural Americans.


On the RURAL HELP Act:


We are working on legislation to create parity and get the fair share of funding for inpatient services through Medicare into rural areas and make sure our rural hospitals are viable for a long time to come. 


Congressman Joyce offered his thoughts on the issue:


We have great hospitals in rural Pennsylvania, but they are suffering right now in the throes of this pandemic… 


The parity that Fred mentioned is so important. Rural hospitals should be paid on a much better basis than what we’re seeing right now.


Congressman Keller also discussed the need for Congress to drive out the remaining funds in the Paycheck Protection Program to help American families, businesses, and workers get through this pandemic.


On the Paycheck Protection Program:


To date, more than 5 million individual PPP loans have been processed, totaling more than $520 billion in direct relief to our businesses, with businesses receiving an average loan of $103,000.


Congressman Joyce weighed in:


While our small businesses and hospitals suffer, Nancy Pelosi is holding hostage the $130 billion that remains in the PPP.


This is $130 billion that has not been used, that has been passed by the House of Representatives…and signed into law by President Donald Trump. And yet Pelosi won’t allow us to bring that to a vote again.


You can watch the full Facebook Live here