RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — State Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) is vying for Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s House seat in this year’s election, aiming to move from the state legislature to Congress and reclaim a district for the Republican Party that was won by Spanberger in 2018.

Freitas and Spanberger will face off for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which hadn’t been won by a Democrat in a generation before Spanberger took the seat, in one of the most closely watched races of the fall. Freitas was chosen to run against Spanberger following a Republican convention in July.

The state delegate was one of two Republican candidates to speak during President Trump’s rally at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in late September.

The U.S. congressional race has garnered national attention and is seen as one of the most competitive in the country. The money spent on political advertisements for the competitive House race has been staggering, with more than $11 million this year. That’s $2 million more than what has been spent on presidential ads in Virginia.

In an interview with 8News, Freitas shared his thoughts on the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, how he feels Congress can do more to help, his views on health care and why he opposes the ACA.

You can find and watch his responses, including edited and condensed excerpts, below:

Freitas’ opinion on how the Trump administration responded to the coronavirus pandemic

“I think that whenever we’re talking about something like a pandemic, obviously there’s certain roles for the federal government, the state government and our localities. And I think when you look at the role of the federal government, there’s two aspects that need to be assessed. One was what did you do with respect to things like international travel?”

“Before it had actually become a pandemic, you know, were, were you taking the necessary precautions to make sure that we were restricting travel from hotspots? And I do think the president was actually ahead of the game. When it comes to that you saw a lot of people from Chuck Schumer to Nancy Pelosi, really treating the president pretty horribly.”

“When he talked about those initial travel bans. He was being hyperbolic, that he was overreacting. He was being xenophobic. And now we know a lot more and we realize that a lot of those travel bans were absolutely necessary. So I think that’s one thing because the federal government does handle the international component.”

“The other part comes from the allocation of federal resources, because one of the things that’s most important about addressing a pandemic is making sure that your medical system does not become overwhelmed. And so there’s state responsibilities there and there’s federal responsibilities when it came to the federal responsibilities.”

On his thoughts about coronavirus relief negotiations halting and what the next stimulus bill needs

“Well, I think that President Trump said that in part, because he’s deadly serious about the fact that we cannot continue to be playing political games with these spending packages.”

“And so I’m hoping what will end up happening is Democrats will come to the table and say, ‘okay, look. Let’s let’s get rid of all this stuff that has nothing to do with Covid,’ We don’t need a federal. Why is the federal government sticking in a Covid relief package, uh, you know, laws that would get rid of all photo ID or voter ID, when you go, when you vote, why are they trying to push ballot harvesting as part of a COVID package?”

“Right. That doesn’t make sense. And so I’m hoping that Democrats will take this as a wake up call to look we’re serious about trying to get funding where it needs to go. But let’s, let’s save the politically motivated portions. We can still have that debate. We can still have that argument, but not in the middle of a crisis.”

On what he opposes about the Affordable Care Act and his solution to the country’s health care system

“I think there’s three things that we have to do. You know, unfortunately, a lot of politicians are always offering themselves as the solution to problems they helped create. And a lot of the problems that we saw with our health care system, that restricted supplier, made it more difficult for people to have access. We, you saw governors, both Republican and Democrats suspending these regulations in the midst of Covid.”

“Whether it was COPN regulations, whether it was occupational licensing reciprocity, allowing doctors to go across state lines. You know, I think we shouldn’t be able to determine these were not good in a pandemic. What makes them good when we’re not in a pandemic. And so I think working on those regulations, which artificially restrict the supply of health care or make it more difficult for people to get health care needs to be one of our first priorities.”

“One of the things that I’ve been talking a lot about is that when we look at our overall health care industry, it is one of the most regulated and, and just dying under government intervention.”

If the Affordable Care Act does end, what comes next from the federal government? How do you help those with preexisting conditions if it is?

“I really don’t know there’s going to be any problem, making sure that everyone can still get care. And this is one thing that I think we need to start talking more about. You hear politicians talk a lot about coverage. Well, coverage without care is practically worthless. What people have coverage for is so they can get adequate and quality health care. And so I think there’s a lot that we can do to make sure that as we’re transitioning into a system that allows for the health care industry to adapt to the growing demands within the American population, that we can again, take care of preexisting conditions and vulnerable populations.”

“We can do that. Our system is perfectly capable of doing that. But if we’re not removing the restrictions, if we’re going to continue to go with unfunded mandate after unfunded mandate, where politicians may play make believe that if they pass a law then that’s automatically going to make more doctors or nurses.”

His views on Rep. Spanberger’s performance and Virginia’s 7th Congressional District

“And I think what people really wanna see is look, what, what are the challenges that you’re trying to address? And I think as we ask voters in this election cycle, it is healthcare and COVID, it’s the economy and jobs and it’s public safety. And then what are your ideas?”

On working across the aisle in the House of Delegates and the different types of compromise in politics

“I think it’s not difficult to work across the aisle on issues where there’s mutual agreement, but I think there’s, there’s two types of compromise. There’s genuine compromise where it’s not that you agree on everything, but you find an issue that you both think is a problem, and you want to address it and you can work together on that.”

“And then there’s compromise and you see this a lot of in DC where it’s not the sort of genuine compromise that we expect.”


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