CHIPLEY - When U.S. Representative for Florida's 2nd congressional district Congressman Neal Dunn was recently diagnosed with the COVID-19 , he said was determined to follow doctors orders and beat the disease and continue his work representing his constituents.


Dunn said had recently started to feel a little ill and being a surgeon, decided to take precautions and go to the emergency room and get checked out.


“[The Doctors] did not think I had it,” Dunn said. “I did not think I had it. We were surprised when the tests came back positive.”


Dunn said the symptoms he had were not at all respiratory but rather entirely gastrointestinal.


Dunn said that since he was diagnosed, he did not have to be hospitalized and has taken medication prescribed by doctor’s to combat the disease and remains in self-isolation and has, “been feeling 100 percent.” He said congress has been isolating themselves in their homes and their offices and has been dealing with each other by phone but hasn’t stopped them from doing their work.


“We have been having phone calls, conference calls, video meetings,” he said.


Dunn said his believed his region looks, “quite good” as far as statistical number of people with confirmed cases of the illness.


“The actual number of cases in Florida 2 are very low,” he said.


Dunn said he sees the number of cases in Florida in general are beginning to drop off as medical staff and researchers begin to get a handle on the illness. He says as the illness continues and more information is known about it will eventually look similar to a form a seasonal flu.


“That means it will eventually come back in the fall,” he said.


While Dunn believes the nation will be more prepared for it by then, he does not believe a vaccine will be prepared until January 2021.


Currently Dunn said Congress is working on the next phase of a bill to help, “wake of the economy.” He said the bill will start in states like Florida and will aid companies which are now are failing due to shutting down during the pandemic which are now are failing.


“These are business didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “These are not business where, you know the employees or employers did something wrong; these voluntarily shut down at the request of the government and we owe it to them to stand it back up. I am very proud of the way this bill is rolling out.”


Dunn said part of the bill involves a program for small businesses to get recovery loans which includes the Small Business Association. Dunn said the SBA has been pushing out $2 billion dollars an hour to help in small business recovery from the pandemic.


“This is an amazing program,” he said. “I’m very, very proud of it.


Part of the bill, “Phase 3,” will help employees get paid and employers keep the business, according to Dunn. “Phase 3” of the bill has been finalized and he said they are currently working on “Phase 4,” which includes getting more money for business recovery. He said he hopes to add another $250 billion dollars in recovery money to the next phase.


Dunn said there is one simple point: the bottom line is, Congress has to get the nation and the world going again.


“We are going to help everybody going again,” he said. “We got to get everybody back on their feet again.”