WASHINGTON (April 16, 2020) U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on agreeing to serve on a White House task force comprised of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives to provide counsel to the President on the reopening of the American economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic:
"This public health crisis is like nothing any of us have ever experienced. As elected leaders and policymakers, we will rightly be measured by how we responded. I'm committed to bringing all of our country's resources to bear to confront this pandemic, and putting partisan politics aside.
"As someone with a background in science, I strongly believe that we must use the best available data and scientific expertise as our guiding light. We won't be able to go back to life as normal or stop the economic downturn until we have gotten a handle on the spread of the coronavirus. That is why our primary focus must remain on the public health challenges at hand, starting with a much more comprehensive and faster testing infrastructure to track and respond to the spread of the virus. Reopening the country relies on making free testing readily available in every single community in every corner of the country, and ensuring that data is accessible and transparent. Ignoring science- and evidence-based recommendations and prematurely resuming business as usual would undoubtedly risk the lives of all of us.
"As New Mexico's senator, I am also fighting to ensure our long-term economic recovery does not leave anyone behind, especially our rural communities and Indian Country. We have a moral responsibility to make sure every single American whose life and livelihood has been upended by this crisis is made whole when this is all over. We must make strong investments in growing thriving and prosperous communities in every part of our great nation.
"I hope that serving on this task force will allow me to offer sound and honest advice to the president. I will continue to do everything in my power to demand a coordinated federal response that's rooted in science, and work alongside leaders in New Mexico to confront this pandemic and rebuild our economy."
Audio file complete here: