Indian-American Congressman appointed to COVID-19 advisory council

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Washington, April 17 (IANS) Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna has been appointed to President Donald Trump’s newly-convened Opening Up America Again Congressional Group, a media report said.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump April 16 announced a group of members of Congress who will serve on the group, and Khanna, a Democrat, is the only Indian-American Congressman to be named, said the India-West news report.
Trump announced that he will soon provide guidance to America’s governors to determine their ability to reignite the economies in their respective states, according to a White House statement.
“The American people need action, support, and direction from the federal government. The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program just ran out of the funds to keep Main Street afloat. Millions of Americans are filing for unemployment every week,” Khanna, who represents California’s 17th Congressional District, said in a statement following Trump’s announcement.
“That’s why I, along with several of my Democratic colleagues, decided to accept President Trump’s invitation to serve on the White House Coronavirus Advisory Council. Though we continue to share obvious and pronounced disagreements, the task at hand is too important for partisanship.
“As a member of the council, I will continue to fight to get working class Americans the relief they need to make it to the other side of COVID-19,” he said.
Additionally, the Opening Up America Again Congressional Group discussed the rapidly expanding access to COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody tests, ventilators, face masks and other PPE.
“I will call for massive investment in advanced manufacturing, in innovative scientific advancement, and in smart technology,” Khanna added.
“Already, we have seen that America was too dependent for crucial medical equipment and electronics on China, Germany and other nations. Like Eisenhower did during the Cold War, we can reshape the future of American industry to rebuild our economy if we harness the power of American innovation,” he said.
In the statement, the White House said that Trump was pleased to hear such positive feedback from the congressional members about the work that the administration is doing to keep America healthy and prosperous, and thanked them for their participation, the India-West reported.
In the group of 32 US representatives, 22 are Republicans and 10 Democrats.
Of the 65 members of the US Senate named to the group, 12 were Democrats, one was an Independent, and the remaining 52 were Republicans.

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