By Steve Robinson | October 13, 2020 - 10:28 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

NORMAL – Whenever the pandemic America is experiencing is deemed over, there will be financial costs involved to people who will have had their businesses damaged, curtailed, or even closed as a result of the episode which began earlier this year. Candidates for the seat in the 13th District of the U. S. House of Representatives gave differing views as to how recovery should look when they debated Monday night at the Center For The Performing Arts on Illinois State University’s campus. The event was not open to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and was the second time Republican incumbent Rodney Davis and Democratic challenger Betsy Londrigan have sparred this political season.

Davis, seeking his fourth term to represent the district, and Londrigan, who challenged Davis to try to win the seat two years ago, answered that question taking different approaches in how businesses could receive help from Washington.

“We don’t know how much we’re going to have to do once the pandemic ends,” Davis said. And what would need to be done after it’s declared over would determine monies needing to be spent, he added. He did say a $1.8 trillion package which was worked on for this would be a good start to helping Americans, but he blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for holding up the process despite, he said, that President Donald Trump was willing to come meet with her to get the process moving.

“Those packages help Mom-and-Pop shops – five million small businesses,” Davis added. He explained that in a crisis such as this, Democrats and Republicans can generally find common ground to get such a package passed so money can get to those who need it. But he also said he blames Pelosi for not allowing a stimulus bill to get passed nearly two weeks ago.

Responding, Londrigan reminded that Davis is the co-chair for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign. “Rep. Davis fails to mention President Trump knew this virus was deadly, he knew it was airborne, and he knew it in early February,” Londrigan said. Even with finding that out as early as he did, Londrigan said Trump “had no national plan for testing, no national plan for tracing, no national plan for providing protective gear for our essential workers – nothing.” She added neither Trump nor Davis said anything that would aid the American people through the early parts of the crisis.

She pointed out researchers at the University of Illinois worked to provide a total of 530,000 rapid saliva tests to see if students or staff had the disease. The results, she said, showed only one quarter of one percent of those people tested turned out to be positive for the disease. As a result, she explained, “students are back on campus and businesses are reopening.” She said by comparison, the Trump Administration has only shown the American people failure during these circumstances.

The event was, even with just journalists and political aides present in an auditorium which could sit nearly 700 people, calm and uneventful until the closing comments by candidates. During Davis’ closing, as he was contending Londrigan mentioning Davis wanting to dispose of pre-existing conditions was false, Londrigan verbally scoffed at his contention. That brought a reply from Davis “to not interrupt because this isn’t a Presidential debate”

The event was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of McLean County, Heartland Community College, Illinois Wesleyan University, Illinois State University’s Center For Community Engagement and Service Learning, The Pantagraph, WJBC Radio, and WGLT Radio.

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