Park City Congress hopefuls: One says coronavirus a Chinese ‘counterattack,’ another praises Trump
Two people from the Park City area who are campaigning for the 1st Congressional District seat this week outlined their preferred strategies for the federal response to the novel coronavirus outbreak and the economic havoc it has caused, with one supporting the actions of the Trump administration and the other one expressing concern.
Howard Wallack, a retired business executive who lives in the Aerie, and Chadwick Fairbanks III, a self-employed entrepreneur and property manager who lives in Pinebrook, are seeking the Republican nomination in congressional district that includes Park City and surrounding Summit County. They are seen as long shots for the nomination in a district with the population center in northern Utah.
Wallack and Fairbanks in interviews on Wednesday offered competing opinions about the response to the spread of coronavirus as they addressed an issue that is suddenly crucial to the campaign.
Wallack said he is pleased President Trump enacted restrictions on people traveling to the U.S. from China early in the spread of the disease, saying the president acted with foresight. He said Trump also wisely tapped physicians and scientists to lead the response. The overall response by the administration has been “excellent, under the circumstances,” Wallack said.
“I think he has performed better than anyone ever would have anticipated,” Wallack said about Trump.
Wallack said he supports a stimulus package but is worried that members of Congress will load legislation with “all kinds of goodies.” Wallack outlined a preferred stimulus package that includes a one-month holiday on interest payments of any sort, rent payments, utility payments and car payments. He also wants equity trading to be suspended for up to 30 days. A package like the one he supports would take the pressure off people living paycheck to paycheck, Wallack said.
“This isn’t Democrat or Republican. This is about taking care of the people,” he said, adding, “You can’t put a number on it.”
Fairbanks, who has expressed intrigue with far-right ideology and conspiracy theories as a candidate previously, spoke of concern with the origins of the coronavirus, calling it “100% a biological weapon” and saying the U.S. is under attack. He said China and its deep-state allies in the U.S. have teamed on the release of a bioweapon.
The outbreak is a “counterattack from China for losing the trade war,” he said. Fairbanks claimed China manufactured the coronavirus and released it in that country as a biological weapon with the knowledge it would spread to the U.S. Fairbanks’ assertions are not widely accepted in the mainstream.
“I would be raising hell on the congressional floor,” Fairbanks said about his response if he was currently a member of Congress. “I’d be calling on the Trump administration to tell the truth.”
He said he would “blast him publicly” for information about the virus.
Fairbanks said he opposes the stimulus package, arguing it would not help Americans in “the way it needs to.” He was unsure what sort of stimulus he would support from the federal government.
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Park City on Tuesday hosted an open house designed to provide information about a wide range of municipal projects and programs, but the event took on greater meaning with the gathering becoming among the largest City Hall-organized events held in person in the more than a year.