Missouri’s junior senator says the $9.9 million the state will be receiving shortly in coronavirus funding will go to the front lines. U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R) says the money will go to state and local health officials.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s official portrait (2020 photo courtesy of Senator Hawley’s press office)

“They’re really the ones both in our state and across the country, it’s local and state health officials who are at the front lines of fighting this virus,” Hawley says.

Hawley voted for the bipartisan $8.3 billion emergency funding package, which President Donald Trump signed on Friday. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) voted for it as well.

State Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams testified this week before a joint legislative committee in Jefferson City, saying DHSS is developing guidelines about how the money will be spent.

DHSS has now tested 65 people for coronavirus: 64 patients have tested negative and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has now confirmed that one patient has tested positive. That case involves a college student who’s from the St. Louis suburb of Ladue.

Senator Hawley tells Missourinet that the state will be receiving more testing kits.

“There’s about a million testing kits around the country now,” says Hawley. “There’s going to be four million testing kits available here in just a few more days nationwide and that number will just continue to multiply.”

Hawley says he’s in daily contact with DHSS officials, regarding the coronavirus.

“I get an update everyday on the number of people who are being monitored in Missouri for coronavirus, on the number of people who are being tested and also any requests for resources from local and state officials,” Hawley says.

DHSS has established a statewide public hotline for Missouri citizens or providers who need guidance or information about coronavirus. The number is 1-877-435-8411, and is operated by medical professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Click here to listen to the full four-minute interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, which was recorded on March 11, 2020:

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