ACLC’s Rebecca Shelton published an Op-Ed this week in the Lexington Herald-Leader:
“Leaders are faced with impossible choices. Reopening schools and the economy will make more people sick, stress the healthcare system, and result in more lives lost. The aid provided to individuals, businesses, and governments through the CARES Act has either ended or is dwindling. Last week, Governor Beshear announced that $4 million in CARES Act funding would be sent to governments in Eastern Kentucky, but to reimburse them for past expenses. The CARES Act is not enough. Local governments and families need more aid now. The epidemic in Eastern Kentucky is getting worse, not better.
We also need Congress to pass policy that will invest in economic recovery to create community resilience to future health and economic threats. The coal industry has rapidly declined over the last decade and with COVID-19, we may be witnessing its final collapse in Eastern Kentucky. Even if the industry recovers to pre-pandemic production and employment levels, it will not be enough to sustain families and communities.”