I am responsible for ensuring that 21 state senators in North Carolina, each representing 205,000 residents, remain fully abreast of COVID-19 here in our state, its impact on citizens, businesses, and governmental agencies. I make sure they are in these daily virtual briefings with the Executive Branch’s COVID-19 response team, which includes all agencies under the State’s Emergency Operations Center, headed by our Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. We have six COVID-19 work groups within my Caucus focused on developing funding and policy responses to this epidemic. As in other places, we are attempting various steps to flatten the curve in order to preserve our state’s hospital capacity to treat those necessary critical cases, obtain the necessary personal protective equipment for our frontline health care workers, and sustain our state’s economy. On 28 April, the Legislature will reconvene, subject to social distancing requirements, to address the COVID-19 funding and policy needs of our agencies, local governments, citizens, and businesses. My role will be to help guide my members on setting those priorities. These are extremely challenging times that might be with us for a while. However, I am confident we will prevail.
COL (Ret) Frederick ‘Fred’ Aikens
Distance Class of 2000
Chief of Staff, Office of the Democratic Leader
N C Senate, Raleigh, North Carolina