SAN ANTONIO — President Joe Biden is pushing for an aggressive coronavirus relief package to help millions of Americans struggling with the pandemic. San Antonio Councilwoman Ana Sandoval says she's optimistic about the bill that will benefit her community.
She represents District 7 and said her neighbors are concerned for their wellbeing as the pandemic stretches into 2021.
"I represent District 7, zip code 78228, which currently is experiencing some of the highest COVID caseloads right now," Sandoval said. "Every single councilmember will tell you that they're fielding dozens, hundreds of calls and emails demanding the vaccines, asking about the vaccines."
Biden's $1.9 trillion bill includes $1,400 stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment aid, more assistance for small businesses, and increased support for vaccines and testing.
"All those are going to be absolutely critical for our population in District 7," Sandoval said. "It's 1.9 trillion rays of sunshine at a very dark time."
Sandoval said the plan is rooted in health science and economics. Along with providing immediate relief, it will lay the foundation for a healthier future.
Biden's proposed package will cover the hiring of 100,000 public health workers, nearly tripling the country's community health workforce.
"Having a workforce dedicated to health, if we use that the right way, it means our people will live longer, healthier lives," Sandoval said. "And that's better for everyone."
The White House is working to rally bipartisan support for this COVID relief package. In the meantime, Sandoval is preparing at the local level.
On Thursday, the council approved the City of San Antonio’s Federal Legislative Program for the 117th Congress with an amendment from Sandoval. Her changes support an expanded coronavirus response and recovery effort.
Following it's passing, Sandoval released the following statement:
“San Antonio is a community of pre-existing health conditions and disparities, and we need aggressive action to change that. To that end, I’ve advocated for a greater focus on health equity for the city, in all of our work, including our legislative agenda," Sandoval said. “San Antonio’s workforce program is uniquely positioned to complement the President’s proposed public health jobs program, should Congress choose to fund the proposal.”