Sen. Kaine speaks to Loudoun’s tourism leaders, announces he tested positive for virus antibodies

Virginia

“We likely had mild cases of coronavirus in early April,” he said.

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia has spent his week on recess video conferencing with local leaders across the state. On Thursday, he heard from Loudoun County’s tourism industry leaders to hear how the CARES Act has been implemented in local hotels, restaurants, economic development, the craft beverage industry, transportation, and events.

About an hour before the call, Senator Kaine publicly announced he and his wife tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. “We likely had mild cases of coronavirus in early April,” he said. “We know four people who’ve died of coronavirus. Two of our three children are laid off of their jobs – our adult children. We’re really fortunate people and we’ve been affected so I can imagine that everybody on this call probably has a story like that.” 

Loudoun County received about $36 million in funding thanks to the CARES Act. Part of that financial aid will assist the Businesses Interruption Fund, which will allocate $5,000 grants to hundreds of area businesses starting June 1. Kaine says he wants to fund more state and local business grants to support people who have been laid off. 

Loudoun County has the third-largest tourism industry in the state, preceded by Fairfax and Arlington Counties. Its economic development leaders said Thursday that recovery support will continue to be necessary while businesses are operating at 50 percent capacity. So-called “recovery mode” could last up to two years. 

Kaine has criticized the Trump Administration’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, but on Thursday he said he was impressed with the administration’s cabinet secretaries and agency heads while Congress passed and implemented its relief bills. “They really want to work with us to get these funds into the economy,” he said. 

Kaine expects to see one or two more emergency response bills this year, and hopes for a “big infrastructure bill that would benefit hospitality and tourism” early next year. 

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