West Virginia senator speaks on concerns for Trump’s proposed stimulus plan

Sen. Joe Manchin discusses scarce coronavirus tests, which give an impression of low infection rate, how he plans to handle his state’s large elderly population and Trump’s handling of the crisis.
7:45 | 03/19/20

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Transcript for West Virginia senator speaks on concerns for Trump’s proposed stimulus plan
Joining us now is West Virginia senator Joseph mansion thank you so much for joining us senator. Thanks for having moons appreciated what the start right out yesterday. President trump was praising West Virginia as saying that the governor had done a good job because of that time you all did not have anyone who tested positive. Four corona virus in your state what was your reaction when her that. I just couldn't believe because they should know the facts we had very few people we even tested period that's the reason. Up until that time when he had 84 tests done out of a Maine a 101000 people. I've got people slamming my office as we speak right now Lindsey basically saying we need to be tested we have symptoms we can't get test but I will say this. Talk to Mike Pence last night. Vice president pence is working trying to get us that they the testing equipment and all supplies. West Virginia should be a tier one we have the most vulnerable people we have an elderly population. I sixty population because of all the hard work they done with respiratory diseases and we've got to make sure we're on the front end of this is not. It'll be carnage it'll be just a tsunami that all hit us and we're not prepared for. You still feel it you're not prepared at this point. We're getting there we're going to be getting there we've done all things are prays that the governor people who did the right thing by basically shutting schools down. Stopping social gatherings all the things that we should be done that that hand doctor Hansen child she said that we should do limiting our social access to people and we're doing everything they've said. But from that when you have a very fragile population. Is gonna spread to lighten your wild far if you don't forget on top of the we don't know where we might have a we don't know where the maybe in parts of the state we could basically isolate that'll of them more. The more testing we do the better were able to control this horrific virus and that's less than that same for the whole country right now but we just don't know. We talk about the whole country the senate has just passed phase two of the corona virus stimulus measures it calls for. Two weeks of paid sick leave and up to twelve weeks of paid family leave for many Americans free testing additional funding for unemployment insurance ended the expansion of food security programs like snapped. Senators that's enough. The lust not enough and we know it's not enough that was the second tranche we said. With that being said it basically does your free testing they're going is going right to the medical and up or we need to go Lindsay we need to find first of all the money we have. On the first of that we spend right now for two purposes. First of all to find any type of treatment that we think that if you contract this virus how can we give you relief how can we help you. Get better next of all finding workable vaccine that's going to take a little bit longer. So when you're going that basically treating people they're very affected and trying to find a vaccine. That's your first and foremost next evolved how about the people that had to go home so they. We're gonna closure businesses who have no place to work. Those are the people on the front line sending me a thousand dollars is not going to help the economy sending you an all of us who have paychecks right now. Sending the people that are getting social services is not going to hell because it's not changing except their social interaction. What we need to do is be focusing on the people that really been affected. That's the people on small businesses from lines that are sent home with no hope no hope whatsoever and no. Unemployment compensation. We need to expand that work off existing programs and we can keep this moving. Having long term basically relief for businesses small businesses that can survive the doesn't have the capital. Like a large corporations and making sure Lindsay large corporations if they need loans low interest loans basically. From the United States government we can do that I'm just not in favor melding out for the sake of bailing out people they got the greatest tax breaks in the world. What message you have people from living in states with low confirmed cases such as George you thing that people in those states potentially have a false sense of the risk. Sure they get a false sense when you see the president united states of the governor of the state of West Virginia saying hey join go to Bob Evans though that need. That's wrong no you should not. Engine presence they must be doing something right we don't see anything in West Virginia so we'll make you a tier to tier two things were not a high priority list. I call last night so let me tell you one thing when it hits my state of being more than tier one I can assure you and I want to prevent that from happen these people work too hard they're two very good. To be left and felt like well well what is to see so whatever happens if something happens will be there. That's too light so hopefully will be moved up to tier one that means we're gonna have the supplies we need who have the testing and also the record response. How to live right now sickened five to seven days if you do get tested in West Virginia before you know one guy came reason. Joseph pharmacy designed seven days I might be dead. So their concern so we're doing everything we can to bring in the alertness to the federal government. That we need you in West Virginia making sure the most vulnerable people in America aren't left behind and it's not too late form. And you mentioned here at the elderly population neared 20% of your state is over the age of 65 years old how will you handle this particular high risk group. Well that's the thing that rob said this. One thing about our state is in this that we do try to look at it out for each other and we take care of our neighbors if you have an elderly person living with you. A relative or if you have an elderly neighbor try to do some shopping form try to help them so they have the necessities that they need. To sustain themselves don't have them going out and stores in going out in public if they don't need to right now. If we can all be little bit disciplined for the next two to three weeks to see where this curves in the gulf we get a handle on it right now but continues to grow. More people are getting diseased getting this disease in America and we're gonna see more deaths from and we want to prevent that. And you can only do about being disciplined but you've got to help your neighbors help your families that are elderly anyone has illnesses help them that's the most important thing we can do. City dwellers are getting a lot of attention and resources but there are also special risks to rural populations of course were hospitals might be. More spread out for example is your state getting the resources that it needs you said that you talk to the vice president for example last night. Do you even have enough test will you have enough tests. We don't have enough when he had 500 test for the whole entire state of West Virginia can you believe that 500 so we have. Today as I'm speaking to you now they're supposed to be getting more to us immediately. We have very few respirators for ventilator is it would help people and we have a lot of respiratory problems because people worked in heavy industry. So we know we have all of that hitting us on top of the pandemic and a virus that attacks and attacks basically the lungs and an end holding. Things we know that the basically a very vulnerable to in my states who were very concerned about that. And I'm hoping they come to a more safe I'm hoping they come. To our rescue to give us what we need. We had hospitals that were closing and I've said women not one hospital that was planning on closing or shutting their doors should be allowed to shut down. During this pandemic. If they're gonna go close later on that's a decision be made but not dorm the pandemic the state and federal government just up to the plate. Keep the doors open at least for now this president is given and sell high marks for his handling of this crisis Hadley said it was a ten out of ten your response to that. That's not so now. We cannot there's no way the president can give himself for anyone else knows it and we miss this thing we've missed a five months. December we can't say that worried about the stock markets not a big deal this and that you can't get high marks for that I'm sorry mister president. Let's basically worked together I'm not back bashing people are blaming him. But my guns don't praise yourself and the job that we did in jobless been done for our country is not adequate whatsoever we wouldn't be in this massive meltdown right now who was we could've been on top of that curve. Prevented it from escalating to the point and has. Senator mansion thank you so much for your time we appreciate you. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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