In an emotional moment on the House floor this week, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) announced that her sister is dying of COVID-19.
According to Fox News, Waters made the revelation on Thursday as lawmakers prepared to pass a $494 billion coronavirus relief bill.
As she began her remarks, the congresswoman announced that she was rising “in support of this legislation” and “in support of what we’re doing for the health care enhancement act in this bill.”
“I’m going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister, who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, right now, infected by the coronavirus,” Waters said, according to Fox.
Waters praises latest relief effort
After acknowledging her sister’s condition, the congresswoman touted some of the proposed bill’s spending provisions.
“This legislation provides $370 billion in funding for small businesses, as well as $100 billion for hospitals and coronavirus testing,” Waters said, according to a transcript from the House Financial Services Committee.
The congresswoman added that “small businesses and their workers all across the country are in dire need” of the assistance included in the bill.
“And so with that, Congress must now immediately turn to the next package of legislation to provide relief during the pandemic,” she remarked, according to the transcript. “We need to do much more to help renters, homeowners, people experiencing homelessness, and mom and pop landlords.”
Fox News noted that while Waters had been wearing a mask, she removed it to speak. Other legislators also exposed their faces while speaking, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who pulled down the white scarf she had been wearing.
Rep. Maxine Waters: “I am going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, right now infected by the Coronavirus.” pic.twitter.com/sX58UK1A3L
— The Hill (@thehill) April 23, 2020
The relief bill was originally passed in the Senate near the beginning of April, but according to Fox, House Democrats delayed approval until more money for virus testing and minority-owned small businesses was added.
Even as his critics in the media complain that he has not done enough to combat the ongoing health crisis, President Donald Trump is scheduled to sign the bill into law on Friday, according to TIME.