U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin Takes Questions From Children About COVID-19
HOLLY, MI - U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin held her first Kid’s Town Hall virtual meeting about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The event was live from 10:30 am - 11:30 am on Zoom and Facebook live with children from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade, along with their parents, to answer a number of questions that were submitted online. "Questions could also be asked in the chat feature of Zoom, or participants could raise their hands."
Rep. Slotkin gave a brief description of her background to the children and parents about the responsibilities of a congresswomen. Since the COVID-19 crisis has happened, Slotkin says, “This is a very unusual event. None of the adults, your parents and teachers, did not have to go through anything like this when we were growing up. I know it can be frustrating, but I hope you found some silver linings in staying home and doing some things.” Slotkin also encourages the children to write down what it’s like and keep a journal, to tell their kids and grandkids what it was like when we all had to stay home because of COVID-19. The congresswoman's team is working remotely from their homes and mentions that they’ve had to vote on some of these big economic recovery packages.
"My favorite part of my job is talking to people from the district and helping them. Since I’ve been home I hear people are constantly calling our phone lines, emailing us, sending us letters and getting a ton of feedback, writing to me in the district and reaching out. We hear from healthcare providers who are literally on the front lines, and they are the heroes of this whole crisis. They’re helping people everyday who are sick with COVID-19. “I'm sure you've seen pictures of them in masks and gowns, covered from head to toe... and don’t want to get sick and bring those germs home to their families, while we are home they’re out there on the front lines fighting to beat this disease so we can get back to the lives we want with our family and friends.” said Rep. Slotkin.
The second question received through the chat was, "Will there be a vaccination?" Congresswoman Slotkin says Congress has passed 4 bills just related to COVID-19 and adds, “The first one was passed back in March, and put $8 billion into research so are scientists and doctors can help us find a cure, and also some sort of treatment to help you get through COVID-19 faster and easier. We have a lot of them at Michigan State University, University of Michigan, we even have some trials going on in our state where we are trying different kinds of medicines on people who are really suffering from COVID-19. The research is on it and a vaccine usually takes a year to 18 months to get right.”
A question was submitted online and asked, “When can we visit our grandparents and stay at their house? People are missing their loved ones so much right now.” Slotkins says, “We are all missing our grandparents and spending time with them and of course we don’t want them to feel lonely, missing their grandkids like crazy right now.” Slotkin admits she herself has had a tough time keeping her children away from her parents and says, “Grandma and grandpa are more vulnerable to this virus, and folks that are older are more at risk of catching the coronavirus. For right now we need to be strong and patient and wait to get the go ahead from our governor.”
High school students were tuning in this live event and one of them asked, “What are the chances of colleges being online in the fall?” Rep. Slotkin “Class of 2020, who is graduating in the middle of the coronavirus, is really going to be a special class. You're going to have that association for the rest of your life.” Congresswoman Slotkin added, “The leaders of the universities are working everyday to figure out how to do college and universities with social distancing.”
As the live meeting concluded, Congresswoman Slotkin was proud of everyone doing the tough work of staying home and not getting to do what they really wanted to do and says, “I know that takes patience and real fortitude and strength, and I want to congratulate you for having that. You all are a very special generation and will remember this for the rest of your lives. Although some of it is a bummer, try to think about the good things and all the good people out there trying to end this thing. They're working for all of us and we owe our gratitude and thanks, and know you all have been wonderful doing that. We’re all in this together.”