Washington, Apr 17 (PTI) Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna has been appointed to the White House Coronavirus Advisory Council.

Khanna is the only Indian-American lawmaker to be named to the White House's Opening Up America Again Congressional Group which comprises Congressmen and Senators from both the Republican and the Democratic parties.

The first meeting of the group was held Thursday over a phone call.

The dialogue included a range of topics, namely the need for additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, the international and domestic supply chains, ways to energize the economy, surprise medical billing, clarifying the difference between essential and non-essential workers, mental health, and relief for small businesses, the White House said in a readout of the call.

Additionally, the Opening Up America Again Congressional Group discussed the rapidly expanding access to COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody tests, ventilators, face masks, and other PPE kits.

President Trump was pleased to hear such positive feedback from the members about the work that the administration is doing to keep America healthy and prosperous, and thanked them for their participation, it said.

Khanna said that as a member of the Council, he will continue to fight to get working class Americans the relief they need to make it to the other side of COVID-19.

"I will call for massive investment in advanced manufacturing, in innovative scientific advancement, and in smart technology,” he said.

"Already, we have seen that America was too dependent for crucial medical equipment and electronics on China, Germany and other nations. Like Eisenhower did during the Cold War, we can reshape the future of American industry to rebuild our economy if we harness the power of American innovation," Khanna said.

The American people need action, support, and direction from the federal government. The Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program just ran out of the funds to keep Main Street afloat. Millions of Americans are filing for unemployment every week, he said.

"That's why I, along with several of my Democratic colleagues, decided to accept President Trump's invitation to serve on the White House Coronavirus Advisory Council," Khanna said.

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