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tv   Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf Holds Coronavirus Briefing  CSPAN  December 23, 2020 12:15pm-12:40pm EST

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and on c-span three american history tv, we mark the mayflower's 400th anniversary in a conversation with robert stone , director of the virtual mayflower project. he will show us how they used virtual reality to re-create the ship that traveled from plymouth, england to america in 1620. you are watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. c-span was created by america's cable television companies in 1979. today we are brought to you by these television companies that provide c-span to viewers as a public service. pennsylvania governor tom wolf answered questions about additional financial assistance for businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. the governor also touched on how
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things are going with vaccine distribution and vaccinations in his state. gov. wolf: thank for being here. myoughout the covid pandemic administration has made it a priority to support businesses and to protect our fragile economy in pennsylvania from the consequences of this pandemic, especially to help business owners and their employees. business owners and employees have worked hard to protect their customers and their communities throughout this pandemic and i want to thank all who have prioritized health and safety despite the clear hardship of the past several months. business owners and workers have been forced to make sacrifices because of covid-19 and they need and deserve our gratitude and support for what they have done. in march my administration made low interest loans available to
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schools and businesses through covid-19 working capital access program. we worked with the pennsylvania control board to waive liquor licensing fees and through the cares act from the federal government we directed funds to a hazard pay program for frontline workers. we invested 220 $5 million in the covid-19 relief statewide small business assistance program and supported our agricultural industry, health care providers, arts and cultural organizations, childcare providers, first responders and many more. just as the cares act did in march, the bipartisan covid-19 relief package passed this weekend will presumably be signed by the president will provide desperately needed aid to businesses throughout pennsylvania. that is not sufficient to meet the needs of the pennsylvania businesses that have seen the worst consequences from this pandemic, including restaurants
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and bars. those places have been dealt a crushing blow by this pandemic through no fault of their own. it turns out covid-19 thrives in places where people gather together, especially when they are indoors. that has made operating more challenges for many businesses over the last several months. the insidious disease is not the fault of business owners and they should not have to weather the storm on their own. we must do more to support them. i will continue to advocate for federal aid for businesses and workers in pennsylvania. in the meantime, i will continue to do everything in my power to provide support at the state level for pennsylvania businesses that have been hurt the most by this pandemic. today i am pleased to announce my administration will make funds available to help businesses with operations and
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revenue significantly affected by the covid-19 pandemic. i am initiating a transfer of $145 million from the workers compensation fund at the pennsylvania insurance department to the general fund. for those $145 million will be available from the general assembly to appropriate for loans and/or grants to businesses in need, including restaurants and bars. while all business should be eligible, i encourage the general assembly to target funding to those businesses with the greatest need. i urge the general assembly to take action as soon as possible to get this running into the hands of business owners and workers who needed so desperately. the money is available and ready to be distributed. businesses cannot afford to wait. we will continue to pursue every avenue and every funding to try to help those who have been hurt by the pandemic.
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one of these avenues could be the plan by senate democrats to provide $4 billion of relief to businesses, workers, and other pennsylvanians. we have a lot of work to do and lots of businesses in desperate need of help. thank you. i will open up for questions. sarah? universal forgot to unmute. sorry. first we have been stanwyck from -- we have ben stenwick. >> as far as businesses that have violated some of the recommendations, will they still be eligible for this? olf: i hope the general assembly will appropriate this
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for all businesses. ,hen it comes to compliance most businesses -- i closed indoor dining for three weeks through january 4. most businesses have been abiding by that. i do not see this as an issue. ron.xt up we have go ahead. >> good morning. to make sure you can hear me? gov. wolf: i can. >> thanks for taking this call. in light of the restrictions on restaurants and other businesses set to expire january 4, are you giving any thought to extending those restrictions beyond that date or even winding down those restrictions earlier than that date? gov. wolf: i've not been thinking about making any changes. >> next we have samantha. go ahead. distribution of
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these funds? will it be a first,, first serve basis and you see any struggle with businesses not being able to access that money quickly? gov. wolf: that is a great question. of all depends on the general assembly to appropriate this money and how they appropriate and wanted to be administered will determine how we do that. in the past, back in the spring with the cares act funding and other money with the department of community and economic ivelopment was distributed, think they learned a lot of lessons. in some ways, like the way the youth community developed community financial develop organizations, financial institutions, where the youth was the model for the country in
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getting quickly into the hands of businesses that needed it. fromieve we have learned the experience we have had over the last month and i hope the general assembly and my administration will do ever we can to make sure the money gets out quickly to the people and businesses who need it most. >> next we have jan murphy from penn live. go ahead, jan. you should be able to unmute, jan. can you unmute? >> all right. governor, thank you for taking my call. can you speak to the fund you're are dipping into to provide the $145 million? law, the workers
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comp fund has to have a $500 million surplus, which it has. it has money above that. .his is part of the excess $145 million is in excess. there is plenty of money in the worker's comp. fund and this is surplus. i think this is appropriate and i'm hoping the general assembly agrees it is an appropriate way to use that money. you have the money targeted for restaurants and bars? gov. wolf: yes. --m sure there are other businesses that have been hardest hit. i keep thinking of restaurants and bars because they have been hit very hard by this. it is no fault of theirs. i am hoping the general assembly
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takes a look at all of the businesses like restaurants and bars that have been hit hard by this. >> thank you. >> thanks. go ahead, flora. >> good morning. governor, realistically how quickly do you think you'll be able to get this through the legislature? what is your timeline? gov. wolf: that is a great question. i am hoping the general assembly can move things pretty quickly. they can come back the first week of january, hoping they can move on this quickly. this is something i do not think should be a controversial issue. the money is there. it is a matter of we look through all different places we can find excess funds.
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this was one we found. there,ping because it is because it is in excess of what we should have, this can move fairly quickly. >> how would the application process work? do businesses have to apply, how much would they be entitled to, what is that based on? can you provide the details? gov. wolf: i cannot. that is what the general assembly will have to do. we will implement as quickly and efficiently what they decide to do. the general assembly and the executive branch have learned a lot throughout this pandemic as to what works and what does not work as well. clearly we need to get the money into the hands of businesses. we need to do it quickly. we will work with the general assembly to figure out the best possible way to do this. >> next we have jim from kyw.
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>> jan hit on the questions i had but i will drill more. $145 million conduct spread -- can get spread free quickly in a state as large as pennsylvania. you mentioned restaurants and bars. would you try to focus specifically on them? i know you touched on that, but again, how quickly that money can get spread to have less effect? gov. wolf: it is a great point. $145 million to the businesses most in need. the general assembly, we will work together with them to figure out what those businesses are. don't forget the money that should be coming, the next round of the cares act just passed by the senate and the house in washington, that also has some businesses.d on
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the $145 million by itself i agree is not going to be enough. the hope is we can get that quickly and maybe that is the thing that helps tied businesses time --ween now and the is that in excess of the $500 treasurer andthe the executive branch can make a transfer to the general fund. appropriations has to be done by the general assembly. we had some experience with this in the budget process each year.
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there is good legal precedent for making the transfer to the general public. -- the next part of the process is general funds legally has to officially appropriate that before it can be sent out to help anybody. >> thank you. next is jamie from fox 43. go ahead. >> a lot of people touched on the questions i had about your business announcement. i was hoping i could ask you about the covid-19 vaccination rollout, how you think it is going as of monday. the health secretary said only 17,000 health-care workers had been vaccinated so far due to the vaccine arriving late. i was wondering how you felt about how quickly it is coming into the state and i wanted to ask, she has been asked multiple times when you and dr. rachel
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levine plan to be vaccinated. can you answer that question? gov. wolf: since we do not know when it is my turn, that is what i will be vaccinated. i'm not going to butt in line. i do not think the priority has been set for people my age. over 75 is now the priority list. i am under 75 for the time being. i will get it when my turn comes. >> you're considered a critical worker, are you? gov. wolf: not as far as i am concerned. there are 13 million pennsylvanians who have an opinion on that. in terms of specific questions sayt the vaccine, i will this round of cares act funding has $8 billion in it for making ine states and territories
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the district of columbia have funding to actually do the marketing and the logistics. will be on this press conference at 11:00. right after me. you can ask that question to her and get probably a fuller answer. >> next we have shannon from w wtae. from >> 145 million dollars sounds like a lot of money. can you quantify how far you feel that will go to help pennsylvania small businesses? i ask you to speak from the heart. it feels like politically and cynically you have been trying vically you have been trying what you can to get folks relief. what does this mean and how far
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you think it will go? gov. wolf: not far enough but it is a down payment. what president biden said about this round of cares act funds, it is a down payment. i think if the general assembly acts quickly we can get this into the hands of businesses. million goes a long way for small businesses. maybe not so much for big businesses but the small businesses go a long way. it certainly goes a long way in building the bridge between where we are and when the cares act funding starts drifting in from washington. because it is a bridge and because the focus is on small business, 140 $5 million will go a long way. the quicker we get it out of the more effective it will be. >> if you could take a moment to speak to a cafe, an ice cream
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shop, a hairdresser, those folks who are watching you right now across pennsylvania. we are in western pennsylvania in pittsburgh. what do you as the governor want to say about getting through the next few months, and these folks were trying to pay their employees and keep folks on the payroll and continue to function after we have this behind us. what do you want to say to them? gov. wolf: the first thing is what i have been saying, and that is this pandemic has imposed horrible choices on all of us. gives -- each of us as individuals had to make decisions about the health of our families and our economic well-being. they have been awful choices. as i keep saying, it is not the fault of restaurant owners or
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gym owners their business is conducted in places where people gather together. that is what the viruslike spirit is not the fault -- that is what the virus likes. it is not the fault of the owners. we are all subject to the dictates of the virus and it is made life hard for all of us, especially for the businesses, for the workers, the owners, for the patrons who rely on these places and it has been tough. what i've been trying to do is say let's figure out a way to address these things. we cannot ignore reality. we cannot ignore that the virus is out there. it is. i hate that. it frustrates all of us. it is out there and that is reality. happily make living with this reality as palatable as possible? the only thing i can think of is
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to do what this 145 million dollars is focused on doing and hopefully the general assembly will agree to get this money into the hands of the businesses, the folks who needed the most. hopefully this next round of cares act funding will bring in more money. it is different now than what we had in the spring. back then we did not know when this would end or how it would end. light at the end of the tunnel. i am going to do everything i can and pennsylvanians will do everything to make sure vaccines get out as quickly and successfully as possible. in the meantime we have to figure out what we will do until we get that magic -- whenever that magic time is when the light is on us and enough people have the vaccine that we do not have to worry about this virus anymore. we are still months away from
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that. we know it is coming and we'll bring it as quickly as possible. what we need to do is figure out how we survive, how we thrive between now and then. that is what i am trying to do with his hundred $45 million. that is what congress is trying to do with this round of cares act funding and the hope is we can make it to that time when all of us have access to the vaccine. >> thank you. thank you so much, governor. that is all the time we have for questions. for any reporters who plan to stay on this call for the 11:00 briefing with the department of health, you can stay on the line and you will be invited to join again as you were for this press conference. we have about eight minutes until the press conference begins. for now we say thank you again for governor wolf.
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i turn things over to the department of health. gov. wolf: thank you, everybody. >> an update on covid-19 vaccine distribution across the country. live coverage on that operation warp speed briefing from the defense department at 3:30 on c-span. also live online at or listen on the c-span radio app. >> as an amateur pugilist have you used those skills and congress? >> it gives me confidence, but people have seen videos of me boxing. i know what to do, but i am like a weekend golfer. i look better than i am. people look at me and think i'm a little crazy. it gives you a certain confidence and also how to probe for your opponents weaknesses. i do not want to exaggerate.
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the closest to a legitimate one, i forget his name, he was a reporter and he was going around challenging congressmen to whatever they were good at like playing chess, playing handball. i found the video a while back. he challenged me to a boxing match. an african-american guy. look right out of a movie. classy guy. for us andp the gym i boxed him. i beat him up pretty good. all the abuse we take from the media. i enjoyed that. >> see our entire interview with congressman peter king who is retiring from congress after 28 years tonight on c-span at 8:00 eastern. you are watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. c-span was created by america's table tell cable television
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companies. to date we are brought to you by these days who provide c-span to viewers as a public service. up next, discussion of the impact of the youth vote in the 2020 election. the harvard kennedy school institute in politics hosted former joe biden presidential campaign advisors, the ceo of the new georgia product -- the ceo of the new georgia project. welcome to today's jfk, jr. forum at the institute of politics. today we will be exploring the youth vote and the prickle role it plays in shaping the outcome of the 20 20 election. i'm a junior studying social studies coming to you from massachusetts. this semester i've had the honor of serving as the chair of the harvard public opinion project, one of our student run


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