RIGHT NOW, FROM KTAB NEWS, YOUR LOCAL ELECTION HEADQUARTERS, THIS IS “BIG COUNTRY POLITICS.” THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE FOR THIS WEEK’S EDITION OF “BIG COUNTRY POLITICS.” I’M TRAVIS RUIZ. VICTOR SOTELO IS ON ASSIGNMENT. WE START OUR NEWSCAST WITH THE LATEST ON CORONAVIRUS. ABILENE MAYOR ANTHONY WILLIAMS ADDRESSING THE PUBLIC AND AS OF THIS TAPING THURSDAY MORNING, THREE PEOPLE QUARANTINED. HERE’S WHAT HE HAD TO SAY. I WANT TO MAKE JUST A BRIEF STATEMENT ABOUT CORONAVIRUS AND ABOUT HOW WE’VE RESPONDED. AND SO JUST SO YOU’LL KNOW, OUR COMMUNITY KNOWS, OVER THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS, LAST THREE WEEKS — SHE’S HAD A DAILY PHONE CALL BRIEFING WITH THE STATE, WITH THE CDC, TALKING AND SHARING INFORMATION. THERE HAVE BEEN CONVERSATIONS WE’VE HAD WITH ALL THREE UNIVERSITIES. OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS. THERE’S MEETINGS HAPPENING TODAY AND SO WITH ALMOST 10,000 COLLEGE STUDENTS WITH DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, WITH I-20, ABILENE IS AT RISK. BUT YOU SHOULD KNOW THERE ARE MEN AND WOMEN IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT ARE WORKING IN A WAY THAT IF SOMETHING DOES OCCUR, THAT WE REACT IN A VERY APPROPRIATE WAY. THERE HAVE BEEN THREE OF OUR NEIGHBORS WHO HAVE SELF-REPORTED TO QUARANTINE. THERE HAVE BEEN NO CONFIRMED CASES OF THE VIRUS IN OUR COMMUNITY. IF ONE DOES OCCUR, YOU’LL BE NOTIFIED AND AGAIN, WE’LL ACT IN A VERY APPROPRIATE WAY IN RESPONSE TO THAT. I WILL JUST ENCOURAGE YOU TO BE SMART AND, YOU KNOW, WASH YOUR HANDS. AVOID CLOSE CONTACT. THE GUIDELINE CDC IS PROVIDING FOR US. WE WANT TO BE SURE THAT YOU KNEW THAT THEY’RE WORKING TOWARDS WORKING TO ADDRESS IT IF WE HAVE TO. THANK YOU. EARLIER THIS WEEK I MET WITH THE LEADERS OF THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY WHO HAVE AGREED TO WAIVE ALL COPAYMENTS FOR CORONAVIRUS TREATMENTS, EXTEND INSURANCE COVERAGE TO THESE TREATMENTS AND TO PREVENT SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLING. WE ARE CUTTING MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF RED TAPE TO MAKE ANTIVIRAL THERAPIES AVAILABLE IN RECORD TIME. THESE TREATMENTS WILL SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE THE IMPACT AND REACH OF THE VIRUS. YOU HEARD HIM THERE, THAT’S PRESIDENT TRUMP AND WE’RE MOVING TO A NATIONAL SCALE. TRUMP CALLING FOR UNITY WHILE ADDRESSING THE NATION FROM THE OVAL OFFICE THIS PAST WEEK, PUTTING IN PLACE SOME BIG MEASURES TO HELP COMBAT THE VIRUS. WE’RE IN THE WHITE HOUSE WITH MORE. PRESIDENT TRUMP ANNOUNCED A 30 DAY TRAVEL FROM EUROPE TO BEGIN FRIDAY AT MIDNIGHT WITH AN EXCEPTION FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM. TAKING EARLY, INTENSE ACTION, WE’VE SEEN DRAMATICALLY FEWER CASES OF THE VIRUS IN THE UNITED STATES THAN ARE NOW PRESENT IN EUROPE. Reporter: THE PRESIDENT ALSO ASKED CONGRESS FOR AN ADDITIONAL $50 IN FUNDING FOR SMALL BUSINESS LOANS AND SAYS HE WILL CALL ON THE IRS TO DELAY THE APRIL 15th TAX DEADLINE FOR CERTAIN BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS. I WILL ALWAYS PUT THE WELLBEING OF AMERICA FIRST. Reporter: STOCKS PLUMMETED AFTER THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION CHANGED ITS ASSESSMENT OF THE OUTBREAK. COVID-19 CAN BE CHARACTERIZED AS A PANDEMIC. Reporter: AT A HEARING ON CAPITOL HILL, THE NATION’S TOP EXPERT ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES ISSUED A DIRE WARNING TO LAWMAKERS. WE WILL SEE MORE CASES AND THINGS WILL GET WORSE THAN THEY ARE RIGHT NOW. Reporter: TREASURY INSPECTOR MNUCHIN AND HOUSE SPEAKER PELOSI HAVE BEEN MEETING IN PERSON AND OVER THE PHONE TO FIND SOME COMMON GROUND OVER A CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE. Reporter: HOUSE DEMOCRATS SAY THEY HAVE LEGISLATION THAT WILL CALL FOR FREE TESTING, PAID SICK LEAVE, EXPANDED UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND SNAP INCREASES THEY PLAN TO BRING IT TO A VOTE THURSDAY. THIS IS FUNDAMENTALLY WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED, AND IT’S FUNDAMENTALLY WHAT THE AMERICAN ECONOMY NEEDS. Reporter: THE CAPITOL IS EXPECTED TO CANCEL PUBLIC TOURS AS ENTITIES AROUND THE U.S. TAKE STEPS TO MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS. LATE WEDNESDAY, THE NCAA ANNOUNCED THAT ONLY ESSENTIAL STAFF AND LIMITED FAMILY MEMBERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO ATTEND MARCH MADNESS TOURNAMENT GAMES. DEBORAH ALFREONE, CBS NEWS. THE CAPITOL HAS BEEN CLOSED. THE NBA ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL SUSPEND THE SEASON AFTER THOSE GAMES LAST NIGHT ON WEDNESDAY. THE PRESIDENT’S TEMPORARY BAN ON TRAVEL FROM EUROPE WILL NOT APPLY TO CITIZENS WHO UNDERGO QUOTE APPROPRIATE SCREENINGS. NOW FROM YOUR LOCAL ELECTION HEADQUARTERS, THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION LESS THAN NINE MONTHS AWAY, BOTH THE REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES ARE PREPARING FOR ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTIONS IN RECENT MEMORY. KTAB’S DAN BOOTH TALKED WITH BOTH THE REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC TAYLOR COUNTY PARTY LEADERS TO FIND OUT HOW THEY’RE GETTING READY FOR NOVEMBER. HE LOVES AMERICA AND HE’S STANDING UP FOR AMERICA FIRST. Reporter: PRESIDENT TRUMP IS LIKE NO OTHER PRESIDENT WE’VE EVER SEEN AND THE CHAIR OF THE TAYLOR COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY COULDN’T BE MORE EXCITED FOR HIS POSSIBLE REELECTION. IT IS SO NICE TO HAVE A PRESIDENT ACTUALLY DOING WHAT HE SAID. WHILE TAYLOR COUNTY IS FILLED WITH REPUBLICANS, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THEIR NEWLY ELECTED CHAIR ARE HOPING THEY CAN USE THEIR PLATFORM TO GIVE PEOPLE A VOICE. THE STRENGTH OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS THAT WE’RE A PLATFORM FOR A VARIETY OF IDEAS AND WE ENCOURAGE, YOU KNOW LIVELY AND ROBUST DISCUSSION AND CERTAINLY, THAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT HERE IN TAYLOR COUNTY. Reporter: PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS BEEN A POLARIZING FIGURE FOR MANY AND SOME REPUBLICANS THINK THE DEMOCRATS’ WAY OF FIGHTING TRUMP IS ALL WRONG. THE DEMOCRATS, IF YOU LISTEN TO THEM, ALL ABOUT WHO CAN BEAT TRUMP? IT’S NOT WHO CAN DO A BETTER JOB WITH AMERICA. IT’S BEAT TRUMP. Reporter: THE RACE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION IS DOWN TO JOE BIDEN AND BERNIE SANDERS. THERE’S A FEAR AMONGST DEMOCRATS NATIONWIDE THAT THE FIGHT BETWEEN BIDEN AND SANDERS COULD FURTHER DIVIDE THE PARTY, BUT HE THINKS THEY’LL COME TOGETHER WHEN IT MATTERS MOST. AT THE END OF THE DAY WE ARE FRIENDS AND WE ARE NEIGHBORS AND WE WILL SUPPORT EACH OTHER TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY. AND THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE IN COMMON WILL BE OUR STRENGTHS, YOU KNOW, OUR DIFFERENCES WILL INFORM US. Reporter: FOR WWW.BIGCOUNTRYHOMEPAGE.COM, I’M DAN BOOTH. THE TAYLOR COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY WILL BE HOSTING A COUNTY CONVENTION ON MARCH 21st TO DISCUSS THE STATE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN ABILENE. ALL RIGHT, STILL TO COME HERE ON “BIG COUNTRY POLITICS,” WE GO IN-DEPTH WITH THE INCOMING DEMOCRATIC CHAIR YOU JUST HEARD FROM. HER PLANS FOR THE PARTY. WE’RE BACK IN TWO MINUTES.




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