King Holds Telephone Town Meeting To Address Pandemic Concerns

May 20, 2020

U.S. independent Sen. Angus King held a telephone town meeting Tuesday to take questions about the government response to the coronavirus pandemic.

King wipes his microphone as he arrives for a Senate Intelligence Committee meeting
Credit ANDREW HARNIK / AP

For over an hour, King fielded dozens of questions about federal programs established to combat the virus and its economic impacts. One caller worried about the oversight of the trillions of dollars in spending.

“You are right to be worried. The first big COVID bill that came from Senator Mitch McConnell had virtually no oversight in it,” King said.

“When you are talking about billions and billions of dollars, there is clearly going to be efforts anyway for fraud and misuse of those programs, not by the administration, necessarily, but by people that are trying to game the system.”

Others asked about whether there will be additional aid programs, including federal unemployment benefits beyond July and about what is being done to fix problems with the application process for the Paycheck Protection Act. There were also several calls urging King to do more to expand broadband access for telehealth systems, and other applications.