Birmingham, Ala. – Today the Alabama Policy Institute released an interview with Alabama Senate Pro tempore, Del Marsh through its 1819 Podcast (along with a full transcript). The interview covers Alabama’s COVID-19 response and reveals Senator Marsh’s thoughts on state budgets, prison reform, the legislative session and more.

Regarding COVID-19, Senator Marsh details asking State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris how much equipment the state would need for him to feel comfortable that the state could handle the influx of COVID-19 patients to Alabama’s hospitals.

“I had a meeting with Doctor Harris on Tuesday with leadership. I asked him to come and he did and we sat down with him. Because one thing we continue to hear, and I mentioned it earlier, is that we have the lack of the PPE equipment, the test kits and the ventilators and hospital beds if you get too much of a rush on the hospitals. So what we asked on Tuesday was [for Dr. Harris] to give us a list of every one of these items that we have to have in place for him to feel comfortable to be in a position to say, ‘Okay, I’m not worried about overrunning the hospitals and not having equipment.’ [We asked him to] give us a number because what we need to do is do all in our power, and whether it’s in state, in this country to…find out what we need to have in place for Dr. Harris to be able say, ‘Hey I’m comfortable, we’re not going to be overwhelmed.’ And perhaps at that point, he might be able say that the governor, ‘Okay, we can handle this if you want to ease up with these economic restrictions, go ahead, we’re ready.'”

Marsh expects to have that number next week.

In the interview, Marsh further explains the state’s potential response timeline, including his hope that the state budgets are passed without a special session, although they will be “bare bones” budgets because, Marsh remarked, “under these circumstances we have no idea what impact, what final impact this is going to have in our economy.”

The full interview in which Marsh also describes the still-imminent need for prison reform this year, the importance of expanding broadband and 5G, his predictions for a post-virus Alabama, and more, can be found here.

A full transcript of the interview is available here.

Alabama Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to free markets, limited government, and strong families; learn more at alabamapolicy.org

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