The House of Representatives passed a historic $2.2 trillion Coronavirus relief bill on Friday, a decision that Rep. Tom Reed called the “biggest vote” of his congressional career.

“We are united when it comes to the threats we see from the virus itself, but also the economic devastation that has come with it,” Reed, who represents the Greater Olean area, said during a media call with reporters. “We are listening, and we recognize the anxiety and fear that has taken over our country.”

President Donald Trump signed the bill Friday afternoon. 

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Although Reed did not give a specific number of how much financial aid the bill would provide to Western New York, he said it would provide a “significant infusion of cash” and that “we’re talking billions.”

Reed said that the decision of the House, as well as the Senate, should give hope to Americans that their elected officials set aside partisanship and political rhetoric to come to an agreement.

“As a united power, there is no doubt in my mind that this crisis will be a thing of the past, and we will come out of this stronger than ever before,” he said.

Reed recognized the continued need for medical supplies across the nation, including masks, ventilators and COVID-19 testing kits.

Among the places where testing kits are needed is Cattaraugus County, where health officials reported the first case of the virus on Friday.

“The testing shortage is a real concern,” Reed said. “The issue of testing is designed to know where the virus is at, so that it won’t spread as fast as if we didn’t know where it was.”

Reed said that positive tests should not be surprising considering the virus has been in the area, but that tracking the virus is important to slowing it down.

“We need that data so that we can make informed decisions,” Reed said. “We’re working at all angles and relationships to do what we can to coordinate the effort and get new testing kits compiled.”

For more information on the Coronavirus in the Greater Olean area, visit TAPinto Greater Olean's Coronavirus Updates page, which is updated continuously.

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