UPDATED: 10 a.m.
New Jersey Congressman Andy Kim is now self-quarantined after coming in direct contact with a member of Congress who has tested positive for COVID-19. Kim joined KYW Newsradio live to talk about his quarantine.
Kim said he has "some symptoms," but he has not gotten results of his COVID-19 test. A spokesman for the congressman clarifies that the Congressman is feeling symptoms similar to a cold or flu.
Kim says he and other lawmakers have been working on legislation for a relief package to help Americans in need.
Listen to the complete interview above.Q: First, how are you feeling?
I feel okay. I have some symptoms. It's unclear at this point, you know, what it is, in terms of whether its a cold, a flu, or COVID-19. So, we're just taking all precautions.
I think this shows just how widespread this illness can be, and how anyone can get it, and certainly hope that people that are out there right now taking all the proper precautions and those that might be exhibiting some symptoms or in direct contact with someone that has, are taking precautions like I am.
Q: Have you been tested yet?
I have been tested. I have not received the results yet.
Q: What does self-quarantining look like? What are you doing?
Well, it means I'm going to be staying in my home. I'm not going to be going outside for anything. I'm trying to distance myself from my family as much as I can.
I'm continuing full time with the work that I'm doing, as my entire staff is, we're working remotely. And we're just continuing to talk to our constituents and trying to continue, as well, the legislation we need to get done. So that we can be responsive to the really difficult times and struggles that many people are having. So those are our continued priorities.
Q: How's that legislation coming along?
Well, you know, we're starting to see the Senate move forward on their ideas. I'm glad that we finally were able to move past and get the Senate to sign onto the bill the House passed last week. Now we're moving forward and trying to figure out how best can we deliver for those most in need right now.
I want to make sure the legislation that we're able to move forward on is really looking out for exactly that.
I just had an email in this morning from a small business owner who's really struggling in the district. Continuing to pay his employees, but has rent coming up, that he doesn't know what they're going to do. He's facing some really tough times. We're hearing that from all over the place.
So, whatever legislation moves forward, we need to make sure that it's focused on our small businesses, focused on the American workers and their families, focused on those that are most vulnerable.
When we live in a time when 40% of Americans can't focus on a $400 emergency, you know, that's put on the test, and then some right now. They're the ones we need to be focused on.
Q: What exactly do you think should be done to help right now? Is the cash infusion enough? What about not just today, but tomorrow and the months to come?
Yeah, you know, there's got to be multiple steps that happen. We're looking at those different efforts and getting analysis on how that's going toe able to actually help. But you're right, it can't just be something right now. We have to be looking out for the longer term.
I really pressed on this publicly early this week, trying to use this as an opportunity to move forward on infrastructure for the United States. we know this is something that we know we badly need, including health infrastructure, that we see right now. We put a lot of people back to work. It would do a lot to try and move our economy forward and rebuild our country. So, there's an opportunity here that I hope we look at, but honestly, we need to make sure we're prioritizing moves forward on this health crisis.
We're not going to get this national crisis under control until we have a better handle on the health side of things. So, making sure we have the tests, making sure we have the personal protective equipment for our healthcare workers, hospitals, as well as our first responders. Those are some of the initial steps we need to take to slow this disease, slow this infection.
If we're not able to slow the infections and slow the growth of the virus, we're not going to be able to get the financial situation under control. So, we need to be able to show the strategy on that. And I think that's something the American people still have yet to see, so we need to be able to push forward on that in a dramatic way.