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Blumenthal Urges Trump Administration to Ensure Transit Workers Receive Essential Protective Equipment, Updates Safety Guidelines

[WASHINGTON D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined 20 of his Senate colleagues today in urging the Trump Administration to ensure that transit agencies can acquire personal protective equipment for their frontline workers. In a letter to Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) K. Jane Williams, the Senators cited the story of Detroit bus driver Jason Hargrove, who passed away from Coronavirus after he expressed his concern about the disease and telling the story about a passenger who did not cover her mouth while coughing on his bus.

“In the brief time since Congress passed this historic funding, we have already seen the tragic death of frontline transit workers as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19),” wrote the senators. “We believe FTA should explicitly update its guidance and proactively provide support to help transit agencies acquire PPE and provide it to their workers.”

Blumenthal was joined on the letter by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Edward Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

The letter comes after the Senators voted to provide $25 billion to ensure transit agencies remained operational and Americans—including frontline health care workers, law enforcement, first responders, and other safety personnel—as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Full text of the letter can be found by clicking here.