If you are like me, it sure feels good to be able to get out of the house and support some of our great local eateries again. It is great to get things open and going again, but I cannot help but be thankful for the leadership shown by both President Trump and Governor DeSantis throughout this crisis.
President Trump acted decisively to cut off travel from China and other areas to prevent the rampant spread of the virus into the United States. The President used his powers to mobilize the public and private sector in a way that has not been done since World War II. The result is that over 10,000 ventilators were built and distributed. Not a single patient who needed a ventilator had to do without one. That would be a remarkable achievement if you looked at the dire predictions at the beginning of the crisis.
Governor DeSantis did similarly great work here in Florida. For nursing homes, Governor DeSantis also acted decisively by eliminating visitation at these facilities. The state also provided assessment teams, mobile testing, and rapid emergency support teams to help our nursing homes. The state also provided over 7 million masks, 1 million gloves, 500,000 face shields, and 160,000 gowns. The proof was in the results, even though Florida hosts a very vulnerable population to the Coronavirus, Florida did not suffer the infection rates of some other places in our Country. This is a primary reason Florida is ready and able to start opening our economy.
The economic shutdown put a tremendous strain on the American people. Once again, our leaders acted quickly, providing economic stimulus payments that have been received by nearly 120 million Americans. The Paycheck Protection Program provided over 1.6 million loans for over 240 billion dollars to keep paychecks coming for American workers. The second phase of PPP provided an additional 475,000 loans of over 52 billion dollars. The Joint Economic Committee study concluded that more than 30 million jobs were saved in the first round, and an additional 38.6 million would be saved in the second round.
Before the crisis, we had the best economic success in over 50 years, with record-low unemployment and tremendous wage and economic growth. With the continued leadership of President Trump and Governor DeSantis, we can rebuild that success once again. Let’s work with one another to get our economy going by helping out our local small businesses that are opening back up again and putting people back to work. Together we will emerge from this pandemic stronger and more united than before.