The column was not received in time for the Sept. 9, 2020 edition. 

September 4, 2020

Friends,

September is National Recovery Month, when we bring awareness to the addiction epidemic and elevate the voices of those it affects. I became a founding member of the Freshman Working Group on Addiction to help solve this crisis. I’m proud to join Rep. David Trone and my colleagues on the Freshman Working Group on Addiction as we work to address this epidemic. On September 16th we will hold the second ‘Congress Goes Purple’ Day of Action as part of our efforts to address opioid addiction in our communities. 

The ‘Congress Goes Purple’ Initiative is an important effort in helping bring awareness to this important effort and help those dealing with opioid addiction issues. 

One in seven individuals experience addiction at some point throughout their lifespan, and one in two know someone impacted by addiction. But many who experience addiction don’t get treatment and seek recovery. 20.2 million and 30.8 million Americans identify as someone in recovery from a drug/alcohol use problem and mental health issue, respectively. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges to those in recovery, caused in part by social isolation, the inability to meet in-person for peer support groups, and difficulty receiving in-person treatment. I am committed to working to find solutions on this important issue.

Yesterday, a new report from the Select Committee showed the Paycheck Protection Program saved 51 million American jobs! Thanks to actions taken by House Republicans, millions of American businesses kept their doors open and their employees on the payroll. This program has already been wildly successful and should be continued in any additional COVID-19 pandemic relief legislation. 

The White House will resume tours starting September 12th. Tours are limited to two days per week, at 18% capacity. CDC guidelines will be in place, which includes wearing a mask and social distancing whenever possible.  To request a tour visit Riggleman.house.gov.

My office has launched a webpage to help address questions and concerns relating to the COVID-19 virus. 

If you need help with a federal agency, please contact my Charlottesville Office at (434) 973-9631.  At this time, all Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, are temporarily closed to the public. The National Zoo has reopened by appointment. Tours to the White House will resume on September 14th.  Additionally, tours of the U.S. Capitol, FBI, and Library of Congress have been suspended to help contain the virus and prevent community spread.