U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady was in Grimes County Thursday, Sept. 3, to talk to constituents about Covid-19, the economy, and the recent Republican National Convention. “Coffee with Kevin” was held at the Grand Star Conference Center in Plantersville and hosted by the Grimes County Republican Party.
Covid vaccine work at warp speed
Addressing the reopening of Texas and the spikes that followed, Brady said, “The whole world had flareups, not just states but other countries as well. We tackled it and made really remarkable progress.”
According to Brady, since Memorial Day, regional hospitalizations are down twothirds and some counties are down 90%. The infection rate is down by three-fourths and “almost at that 5% rate every expert wants you to be.”
He continued, “Every death we lose to Covid is painful. Thankfully in a state like ours with everyone working together, we kept the per capita rate one of the lowest. We’re four times safer here in Texas than in New York or New Jersey, or some of these other states.”
Brady urged continued vigilance with social distancing and masking when you can’t.
As for a vaccine, Brady said, “We have three major vaccines already in the clinical tree, the last trial here in America. We’re already manufacturing hundreds of millions of doses on the bet that one of the three is going to take, which we’re pretty confident about.”
Brady said, “They’ve been moving literally at warp speed. There is no example in modern history where a nation has gone from zero to a vaccine in eight or nine months. It’s never happened before and it’s remarkable and it’s encouraging. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re making amazing progress.”
Economy better than predicted
Citing the impact of Covid-19 on the best economy in 90 years, making it the worst economy in nine years in just a couple of weeks, Brady said, “I think our small businesses have done an amazing job.”
He credited legislation such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and forgivable loans to keep workers on payroll with making a big difference.
Brady said, “The PPP has saved 51 million jobs, almost 5 million here in Texas. There is no question the economy is rebounding much better than predicted.”
Looking forward to the Friday jobs report, Brady anticipates recovery of half of the 22 million jobs lost to Covid.
He said, “My guess is the unemployment rate could fall under 10% when a lot of the experts predicted we’d hit 20% at this point. This recovery has been much better than predicted.”
According to Brady, there is still a ways to go, referring to the airline and hospitality industries still faced with laying workers off. Not favoring a “spending spree,” Brady supports a second round of forgivable loans for small businesses to keep and rehire workers.
Addressing the problem of 6 million job openings and workers getting paid more not to work, Brady said “My worry is that if we don’t change that, a lot of our businesses aren’t going to survive… my worry is when they want to go back to work, that job they had, that business they worked for, won’t be around.”
Brady spoke about the positivity and optimism of the Republican National Convention in its choice of nightly themes, Land of Promise, Land of Opportunity, Land of Heroes, and Land of Greatness. Each night “real Americans talked about the promises President Trump kept.”
Brady said President Trump’s support among African American voters increased almost 10% during the convention.
He said, “They saw a president who, and I’m proud of tax reform’s roll here, lifted 2.5 million people out of poverty in two years. We raised paychecks for blue-collar workers with low incomes… and women of color were winning the jobs race for the first time in history. Jobs were coming back from overseas because of the work he did.”
Other subjects Brady addressed included the post office, defunding the police, protests, and redistricting.
Before opening the floor to questions, Brady closed by saying, “We have an amazing country and it’s worth fighting for. As we continue to be better, we have a lot to celebrate already.”
Brady will face Democrat challenger Elizabeth Hernandez in the Nov. 3 General Election to represent the 8th Congressional District, a mix of urban and rural interests in Montgomery, Walker, Houston, San Jacinto, Trinity, Grimes, Madison and parts of Leon and Harris counties.