"Any time you can help areas as depressed as Mingo County and West Virginia, and give people $1400, hopefully that will -- it's going to help a little bit."
March 11, 2021

Anderson Cooper introduced a segment on reaction in West Virginia to the pandemic rescue plan.

"President Biden expected to sign the nearly $2 trillion covid relief bill Friday. This after the House approved the historical legislation this afternoon. That may be the easy part. The hard part, getting out to where it's needed. We sent Gary Tuchman to the county with 85% of voters voting for the former president in the 2020 election. Only one other county in the state gave him a higher percentage of the vote. This is clearly Republican voters, so we wanted to see how the relief bill is being received there. Here's what Gary found," he said.

"Economic life has long been challenging in the mountainous towns of West Virginia coal country. The covid outbreak has made things much worse," Tuchman said.

"It's tough for my kids. For my wife. My whole family in general. I mean, I got a lot of my family out of work."

"Kevin Johnson is a coal miner, but like many other people in the area, lost his job."

"I love the mines. I mean, it's good money. Really good money. Good living." But, he said, it's a struggle right now.

Tuchman said the covid relief bill is a huge relief for so many people.

"Garland Thompson is a restaurant dishwasher."

"I'm excited about it. Any time you can help areas as depressed as Mingo County and West Virginia, and give people $1400, hopefully that will -- it's going to help a little bit."

"Help you?"

"Yes, sir. It would help me, me and my wife."

"There's great awareness among people in Mingo County that their senior U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, could have brought down this bill if he wanted to. He is in effect a king maker, and many people we talked to here like that. Charles McGuire says he almost always votes Republican, including for Donald Trump, but he respects the political moves made by his conservative Democratic senator."

"Most of the time, he just speaks his mind, and he speaks what is truth."

"This is the mayor of Williamson, Charlie Hatfield, of the famous Hatfield family that feuded with the McCoys back in the late 1800s. The conservative Democratic mayor, who doesn't want to reveal if he votes Democratic or Republican in national elections, does reveal he very much likes this bill."

"I think it's a good thing, and I can tell you from what i have seen in the city alone, we will probably get $1 million."

He said it would be almost a third of his budget and called it "big money."

"We did meet a couple of people in town who agree with Republicans in Congress who all gave the bill a thumbs down. But almost all we talk to here feel differently. Sheron Ray Justice has a disability and hasn't been able to find a job. How do you feel about the fact that no Republican senators voted for this covid relief bill? They all said no to it."

"That's a move -- that's some hogwash *** right there. They should -- I mean, yes, apologize for my language. They should loosen up a little bit, you know what I mean?"

"Kevin Johnson, the laid-off miner, says he voted for Donald Trump, and usually supports Republicans, but disagrees with how the GOP has handled this. With this aid, he says, he will now be able to -- "

"Pay up the rent and pay up the bills. Because people are behind, you know, as well as everybody else, I'm sure I ain't the only one that's got a tough time."

"Tough times for so many. And now the hope things will start getting better soon. We asked Mayor Hatfield what he would like to do with this million dollars or so. He says they have had serious infrastructure problems here so he would like to take a big chunk of the money, improve the roads, improve the overpasses, and also fix up the underperforming water system and sewer system."

Now we need to see Joe Biden and the Democrats' faces everywhere, taking credit for this plan. I think Biden knows it was a mistake for Obama not to tell Americans what he did to help them recover after the 2008 crash.

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