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American Families Plan, food insecurity and COVID-19 survivors on this week’s Inside West Virginia Politics

Inside West Virginia Politics

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — In this week’s Inside West Virginia Politics, host and Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis discusses a variety of topics such as the American Families Plan, West Virginia’s food insecurity and interviews two survivors of COVID-19 about their experience with the virus.

How the American Families Plan can improve 90% of West Virginian kids’ lives

In Segment 1, Congress is returning to Washington on Monday, July 12, and Seth DiStefano, the Policy Outreach Director at the West Virginia Center of Budget and Policy, discusses why Congress should prioritize the American Families Plan

In July, families with children will begin to see checks as part of the refundable tax credit passed earlier in 2021. According to White House officials, “The American Families Plan will extend key tax cuts in the American Rescue Plan that benefit lower- and middle-income workers and families, including the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.”

DiStefano says these checks can help improve the lives of 90% of West Virginian kids. 

How do we solve West Virginia’s hunger problem?

In Segment 2, Caitlin Cook, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at Mountaineer Food Bank, discusses food insecurity in West Virginia and how a bipartisan group may be the solution to solving the problem. 

According to Cook, 1 in 5 children in West Virginia goes to school without a meal in their stomachs. 

Recently, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay) created a working group to deal with food insecurity. It’s a bipartisan group of republicans and democrats. 

Cook says this group is “…an amazing opportunity for the state and the people.” Cook explains that hunger is the root of many issues within West Virginia, such as unemployment and substance abuse disorder. “I am also hopeful out of this working group that we can get things like community food hubs that provide the holistic approach. We can strengthen the safety like snap that do a better job at feeding people than the food bank.”

13 News Reporter Erin Noon shares her own experience with COVID-19

In Segment 3, 13 News Reporter Erin Noon discusses her experience contracting COVID-19. 

Noon says two weeks before she was eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, she contracted the virus. 

“All of a sudden, I started feeling symptomatic…The cough was probably my worst symptom, to be honest. And then that night — well, I got tested, and it came back positive, so I was pretty shaken up just trying to stay calm and everything.”

Erin Noon, 13 News Reporter

Noon says she then began vomiting throughout the night and eventually drove herself to the emergency room. She says because of COVID-19, her body went into diabetic ketoacidosis, a severe complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. The condition develops when your body can’t make enough insulin. Noon is a Type 1 diabetic. 

She spent two days in the Intensive Care Unit. 

Noon encourages young people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. “if you have any doubt in your mind, I mean, this could really take a toll on your health, on the people around you, as well. It’s a really scary thing. So I am saying if you have any kind of hesitancy, go out and get that vaccine.”

West Virginia man shares his COVID-19 near-death experience

In Segment 4, Luke Farley, the Secretary-Treasurer and Legal Counsel for the Teamsters Union, shares his experience with COVID-19 and how he nearly died from the virus a year ago. 

Farley says he caught the virus and ended up in the hospital, in the intensive care unit for two weeks and was put on high-flow oxygen and almost died. “I couldn’t walk from me to you [referring to Mark Curtis in the studio] and I would just be out of breath. I ended up with pneumonia, and it was just horrible.”

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