Senator Mike Braun discusses COVID-19, small businesses

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Ind. (WEHT) — Indiana Senator Mike Braun talked to Dave Armand, executive director of the Indiana Broadcasters Association and took questions from reporters about coronavirus concerns and how his office wants to help small businesses.

“This is unknown territory we’ve had other viruses recently that we have contended with but nothing quite like this,” Braun said. “I do believe until we tamp the disease down, the country is not going to be at ease and it’s a tricky dynamic in terms of how we do that and saving the economy and making sure that we don’t do irreparable damage to it.”

Braun addressed the number of test kits and says we don’t have all the information to isolate where the disease is at its worst, but progress is being made with companies such as Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly.

“I cannot give you an exact day when anybody in Indiana that needs to be tested or wants to be. Right now, we are straggling the people that want to be that may not get tested due to current medical guidelines,” he said. “I think that will be a moot point soon.”

Braun says no one knows if there will be a phase four or five to economic stimulus packages.

“If you extrapolate the current numbers into where this is going to settle in and how many cases we actually have. Where that mortality rate and case number starts to flatten and then decline, that will be what drives whether we will be doing another package,” Braun said. “As much as I do not like that the government is having to move in a comprehensive way, it is necessary in this case.”

Braun, a business owner himself, says even the most healthy companies with a strong line of credit can only go a couple months before having to make changes.

“I advise any small business across the state, any large business as well, please contact our office. We’ve got a great constituent service team and I have got a good team in DC and Indiana that I think bring a special kind of perspective to how we get through this.”

Braun also discussed Indiana’s readiness and says our state has had the advantage of time to see the worst case scenario and with the size of Indianapolis, the state needs to do “everything that we’ve learned, that New York has had to learn the hard way because it was hit first.”

“I feel comfortable that we will navigate through it and that our state has done what is necessary to confront it full on,” Braun said.

Braun also discussed the military component of the COVID-19 response.

“I think the military definitely needs to be on guard and used already where it has been. National Guard especially,” Braun said. “We should not spare any resource to try to tamp this thing down.”

You can watch the full interview here.

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