A message from Rep. Collin Peterson

Dear Friends,

A student wrote to me and asked me what I’m doing to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and deal with impacts of the disease. Here’s what I told him…

First, like millions of Minnesotans, I am practicing ‘self-distancing’ by staying away from other people and limiting travel to necessities like getting groceries. This is one of the most important things Americans can do to get the virus under control. The places that are behind on taking this commonsense step are hurting everyone and make this a more costly and deadly disaster.

As your Representative, I have heard from thousands of Minnesotans who have shared their struggles, concerns and ideas on how to move our country forward. It has been amazing to hear how so many Minnesotans have stepped up to help, from Digi-Key and the University of Minnesota partnering to address the ventilator shortage, to rural hospitals expanding the use of tele-health to bring care to those in need while minimizing risks to patients and healthcare workers alike.

Though Western Minnesota’s first case of coronavirus was diagnosed by Renville County Public Health just recently, the effects of the crisis have been felt by our community over the past few weeks. I have been actively responding to those concerns and the effects on rural communities like ours across the US. 

As the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture I worked with House Leadership and the Administration to make sure SNAP benefits are adequate and available during the pandemic. I voted alongside an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the House to pass supplemental funding for the Administration’s response to the crisis. I also cosponsored the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the disaster relief package recently signed by President Trump.

As a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I signed onto a bipartisan letter to the Veterans Affairs Secretary Wilkie, pressing the VA on their response to coronavirus. and Education to make sure veterans and students receive assistance. Our veterans deserve the best care and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee has jurisdiction over the VA healthcare system.

Rural healthcare providers face even more challenges than their urban counterparts. That is why I worked with other members from rural districts, to call on Congressional leadership to support rural healthcare providers in further coronavirus response bills.

Small businesses are facing enormous financial pressures with businesses across the state closed or working reduced operations. I led a bipartisan letter with 44 Member of Congress to the Small Business Administration (SBA) calling for lower rates on SBA disaster loans. In addition, the Minnesota Congressional Delegation asked SBA to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to Minnesota businesses adversely impacted by coronavirus. That help is now available

The Minnesota Congressional Delegation is speaking with one voice to show solidarity during these times. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have far-reaching impacts on our communities and our families, we remain confident that we can pull together as a nation to address and work together to respond to this crisis and meet the needs of the American people through the tough economic consequences.

I am dedicated to stopping the spread of coronavirus and relieving the pressures the outbreak is having on our rural communities. As I continue to work on these issues, I encourage you to contact me through my website. Listening to you is the most important part of my job and helps me make the best-informed decisions for our community. 

I hope you find the resources and updates included in this newsletter helpful, and I encourage you to participate in the questionniare near the end.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson

Minnesota 7th District

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