Richmond woman appointed to lead National Coronavirus Recovery Commission

Updated: Apr. 17, 2020 at 7:50 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond woman will serve as chair of the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission and will work with the White House on ways to have a smooth reopening of the country when it’s time.

“I will be taking the information we get. The data research and best thoughts and feed them to the White House and president,” Kay Coles James said.

It’s a 17 member commission made up of experts and leaders from across the country all focusing on how to help the country reopen. The commission will also focus on businesses and workers most impacted by the country shutting down.

“You can’t reopen the country if many people are afraid to go back to work,” James said.

James is no stranger to public service. She is currently the President of the Heritage Foundation, which is a conservative organization based in Washington. James has also worked with both Bush administrations and former Governor George Allen.

The new commission has come up with five phases with the number one focus on how to reopen the country but they are also looking at long-term impacts.

“We also want to take a look at the future. What can we do as a nation should something like this happen again,” James said.

James tells me the commission hopes to have a full report and plan together by June.

“We don’t think we have a lot of time so we have to act very quickly. Monday we are releasing the first set of recommendations to the president, the Congress, to governors and to mayors,” James said.

Overall, the ultimate goal is to help the American people.

“We want to make sure the paycheck protection plan and good processes are in place so the small businesses and hourly workers can get back on their feet,” James said.

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