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Photo: Derek Seifert / U.S. Air Force

HELENA- Attorney General Tim Fox signed a letter addressed to several people in Washington DC in support of Safeguarding America’s First Responders (SAFR) act of 2020.

The letter, addressed to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader McCarthy, Minority Leader Schumer, Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member Jordan, urges Congress to pass the SAFR Act. 

The program requires evidence linking deaths caused by an infectious disease to work-related activity,” The letter reads. “In many cases, the origin of an infection can be easily identified, but determining where and when someone contracts COVID-19 in the midst of a global pandemic presents a unique challenge. Inevitable human contact while off duty and delayed manifestation of the disease present problems a family of a public safety officer who dies of COVID-19 should not have to overcome.

SAFR would establish a temporary presumption that COVID-19 infections in public safety officers will be considered to be contracted while on duty if diagnosed within 45 days of an officer’s last shift.

Families of first responders who die or are permanently disabled as a result of COVID-19 would be able to receive the same federal benefits as those otherwise killed or injured in the line of duty under the act.

You can read the full letter here.

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