On Thursday, April 16, President Trump announced his appointment of Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) to the White House Task Force on Reopening the Economy. Zeldin is also a member of the bipartisan Congressional Coronavirus Task Force.
The mission of this bipartisan group, with members of the House and Senate, according to Zeldin’s announcement of his inclusion, is to “work together with the White House to chart the path forward toward a future of unparalleled American prosperity. The health and wealth of America is the primary goal, and these groups will produce a more independent, self-sufficient, and resilient nation.”
Zeldin went on to note that coronavirus (COVID-19) had hit the economy during what he believes was a time of unprecedented prosperity in the United States. “We need to get our economy moving again, but we must do it smartly, precisely and carefully to also avoid another outbreak,” he continued, adding, “Representing one of the areas hardest hit by coronavirus, I thank the President for this opportunity to make New Yorkers’ voices and needs heard as we work to emerge from this outbreak stronger than ever.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has left some 22 million American unemployed and forced many businesses to close temporarily, shut down permanently or cut back in other ways. It’s safe to say the country is excited to go back to work, but most want to see it done responsibly to avoid the virus surging, resulting with a spike in infections and even more coronavirus-related deaths.
Despite fears to the contrary, Politico reports that, on an hour-long call with the House panel on Thursday, Trump did not repeat past demands to reopen the economy by May 1, and “spoke ‘respectfully’ of state officials, seemed open to members’ feedback and even complimented California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose state has seen early successes in limiting the spread of the virus.”
As Representative for New York’s 1st Congressional District, Zeldin represents all five of the East End towns—East Hampton, Southampton, Shelter Island, Riverhead and Southold—in the Hamptons and North Fork, and most of Central and Eastern Suffolk County, including all of Brookhaven Township and most of Smithtown.