Wyoming senator of the Senate Energy Committee and Foreign Relations Committee member John Barrasso commented On Fox about Wyoming’s state of the economy.
My state is very vulnerable to this shutdown because you’ve got lots of industries that are shot like construction and agriculture that actually could be reopening.
It’s time for all of us in America to get back in the saddle again. We have 39 million Americans out of work in Wyoming. Our commitment has always been to keep our families safe and to keep our communities running and keep our businesses afloat.
We’ve been successfully doing that as a result of efforts in Wyoming but also the help of the paycheck protection plans and some of the programs that were part of the Cares Act.
We’re seeing that in our state and are very successful, and people are optimistic about the future.
We need to allow patients to get medical procedures as coronavirus cases decrease. Things are starting to change now because there are essential medical procedures that aren’t quite emergencies, but these have been put off for months as hospitals have shut down everything other than emergencies because of the coronavirus pandemic.
We’ve had hospitals all around Wyoming with very low occupancy. They’ve had the layoffs health care worker, and at the same time, patients are waiting for care.
So as hospitals and communities have shut down, things like mammograms, cardiac stress tests, all of those things are harmful to people’s health. Six hundred doctors wrote to the president saying for the sake of the health of the American people to reopen the country because health goes beyond the coronavirus itself.
People being shut a shuttered away, but under times of high unemployment, the risk of abuse goes way up. That’s reported that the number of suicide attempts in that area in California in the last four weeks was more than all of last year combined. So the shutdown itself is causing health complications, and as a doctor, I am concerned about all of these health consequences.
In Wyoming, the impact shutdown is much greater than the disease itself. We’ve had 11 deaths under a thousand cases, but for our energy economy, our agriculture economy, our tourism economy, it has been significant. Yellowstone national park is now open again, so we’re welcoming visitors. Energy prices are back, and it’s over $30 a barrel today.
In Wyoming, we’re tough, and we’ll get through this, we will are as Ronald Reagan would always say our best days are still ahead and the people of Wyoming continue to believe that.
The PPP program also has been very successful in Wyoming. We’ve done 11,000 of these loans over a billion dollars that their average loan is about a hundred and ten thousand dollars.
Some of these businesses, specifically in the area of tourism, say: “Look, we want to keep people on the payroll, we need a little longer than about eight weeks they need to go to 12 or 16 weeks.”
75% of the money needs to go for payroll, some of them based on their business models that may need to be a little lower than that we’re working with the Secretary of Transportation.