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Local News

Kinzinger: COVID-19 relief should help rural hospitals, combat misinformation

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger asked Republican leadership for provisions in COVID-19 relief legislation to help rural hospitals, streamline bureaucracy to get equipment and combat misinformation campaigns about the pandemic.

Kinzinger, R-Channahon, wrote a letter to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalise asking for these provisions, according to a news release.

"These are unprecedented times, and I remain committed to doing my part in providing much needed relief to our health care system and our economy, as best we possibly can," Kinzinger wrote in the letter.

Kinzinger wrote that medical providers in his district are able to test for COVID-19, but there are concerns test results are taking too long to return at about three days. He added there are concerns about shortages of personal protective equipment due to several providers running low.

Kinzinger added that he's been concerned with health care infrastructure in rural communities. Last year, he introduced legislation to expand eligibility for aid to prevent the closing of rural hospitals.

The Congressman said legislators must "immediately grapple" with misinformation and disinformation. He said he has seen examples of bad actors sending messages about receiving government assistance in hopes of getting users to open malicious files.

Kinzinger suggested establishing an interagency working group to monitor foreign interference and "open-source domestic rumor mills" to combat untrue rumors causing widespread panic.

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