On 'The View': Sen. Tim Scott touts efforts to combat COVID-19 in black communities

Mario Tama/Getty ImagesBy ELIZABETH THOMAS, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — In an appearance on ABC’s The View, Republican Sen. Tim Scott R.-S.C, touted his efforts to combat the disproportionate and devastating affect coronavirus has had on the African-American community.

Scott was tapped by President Donald Trump to help address the staggering death and unemployment rates in minority communities due to COVID-19. During his interview on The View he highlighted his close relationship with the president and gave insight into the advice he’s given the president on increasing telemedicine efforts and awareness of the Paycheck Protection Program in the African-American community.

“If you live in the rural parts of South Carolina whether you’re black or white the reality of it is getting to a doctor is harder than it’s ever been, and frankly for a long time we told folks don’t come to the hospital,” Scott said. “Telemedicine can bridge that gap and we need to make sure that the reimbursement rates are such that people will be able to afford to use telemedicine as providers and letting people get there, so that’s one of the pieces of advice I’ve given to the President. The second piece of advice I’ve given to the president that, as a former small business owner myself, we need to make sure that African American businesses are fully aware of the paycheck protection program we have about 100 billion dollars left that we need to deploy.”

The GOP senator also said that he has encouraged the administration to prioritize testing for these communities at churches.

“In order for us to help communities of color have the right locations to go visit to get the test,” Scott said. “Sometimes you’re more likely to walk to the church in your neighborhood then you are to find a ride to a local pharmacy or hospital so I’ve encouraged the testing to be done at churches at CVS or pharmacies or hospitals I want that everywhere.”

As the lone Black Republican Senator, Scott was called on by Trump following the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and the release of the shocking video of his death.

“The video is really clear, that is murder 1 p.m. in the afternoon,” Scott said. “I’m a black man that jogs too and I just thought to myself, ‘Do I need to carry gun everywhere I go?’ And I’m so frustrated by that video, so frustrated by the lack of response for six weeks, but I wanted the president to understand my frustration and my serious concern that we cannot afford to go back to a Jane’s Byrd day in 1998 or Emmett Till’s.”

Scott also said that he has had ongoing conversations with the president about this deadly incident.

“I wanted the president to hear my thoughts on it and thankfully he called me that Friday evening, and we had a serious discussion about it,” Scott said. “I was in the White House this weekend, we talked about it again, I was in there last weekend we talked about it again and I’m glad to see the Department of Justice is at least on the case.”

Trump’s rage with voting by mail

While the president has been relentlessly attacking voting by mail suggesting that it leads to voter fraud, Scott was hesitant to express the same sentiments. Sunny Hostin pressed Scott on why it is ok for Trump to vote via mail but not an everyday American.

“Let’s talk about our election senator, just this week, Trump threatened to cut funds to states like Michigan and Nevada stemming from absentee ballots so people wouldn’t have to travel to the polls in a pandemic,” Hostin said. “But President Trump mailed in his own ballot this March, even though he was across the street from a polling site in Florida. Why is it okay for the President to vote by absentee ballot, but not for every American?”

“Well Sunny that’s great question. I’ll look forward to you asking the president that question,” Scott said. “I’ll just tell you that in South Carolina. If you are over a certain age or if you’re at work, you have the ability to be able to vote, an absentee form. I think that’s the case throughout this nation in different forms, different states do different ways. The good news is that a local, local counties and municipalities, really control most of the election process, along with the state so I think you’ll continue to see a robust approach to early voting as relates to states who have it and then for reasons you can vote early and other states.”

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