Stay Safe: We are all in this together
My number one obligation representing you in Congress is to do everything in my power to keep you and your family safe. For the past four months since the first positive COVID-19 test in New Hampshire on March 2, 2020, I have focused my attention on keeping you safe from this deadly virus and from the risk of an economic collapse from this unprecedented public health crisis. Looking forward, we have lessons to learn from the lack of preparedness, leadership and coordination by the Trump Administration. This week, I am laser focused on our preparedness to discover and equitably distribute a vaccine to everyone in America, especially the most vulnerable.
For people of color across our country, we are addressing a pandemic within a pandemic, namely racism and bias in law enforcement, delivery of health care, housing and economic opportunity. The U.S. House took the first step this week in passing the Justice in Policing Act. Next week, I will roll out our “Opportunity and Justice for All” Agenda.
While the rate of new COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire continues to drop, we can and must do better across our country. We must continue to take precautions to mitigate the spread of this deadly virus. Wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a face covering and above all, get outdoors and safely enjoy this glorious summer in New Hampshire! Stay safe. Be well.
Ensuring a COVID-19 Vaccine is Widely Available
On Tuesday, I took part in a virtual Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the Trump Administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where we heard from Dr. Anthony Fauci, M.D. and other health experts. In order to fully reopen our economy and put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, the majority of Americans will need to be vaccinated for COVID-19. This will require swift action and a clear strategy to prepare health care providers to administer vaccines, address potential concerns the public may have, and ensure equal access to a future vaccine.
Unfortunately, the Administration has yet to release a comprehensive vaccine plan, though they assured our Committee during this hearing that a plan is in development. I look forward to the release of this plan to ensure that every American has access to a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available.
|Questioning Dr. Fauci and other health experts. Watch here.|
Addressing COVID-19 and the Opioid Epidemic
The Bipartisan Opioid Task Force hosted a virtual discussion on Wednesday on addressing the dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic. The COVID-19 pandemic knows no bounds and has impacted nearly every aspect of our society and daily life. While our efforts to physically distance and stay home have been necessary and saved lives, they have also made it more difficult for people who struggle with substance use disorder to access the care and support they need. In addition, the economic downturn and the stress people are feeling over the COVID-19 emergency have made these last few months especially challenging for people at risk of substance misuse.
These conversations are ongoing and play a crucial role in identifying and implementing solutions, like those we outlined earlier this year in the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force 2020 Legislative Agenda. This agenda outlines common sense, bipartisan legislation to address the opioid epidemic by bolstering prevention, treatment and recovery, and law enforcement efforts. I will continue working to support those who are living with substance use disorder during this pandemic and beyond.
|During the Opioid Roundtable Discussion. Watch here.|
Investing in Accessible, Affordable Internet for All
On Wednesday, I joined House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, members of the House Rural Broadband Task Force and other House Democrats to introduce the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for all Americans to have a reliable internet connection as students have moved from classrooms to remote learning, patients are receiving telehealth care from the safety of their own homes, and many employees are working remotely.
While this public health emergency has underscored the broadband needs of many communities, having a reliable internet connection will continue to be essential as we move past this pandemic and begin our ‘new normal.’ I’m proud to help introduce this common sense legislation to help ensure that vulnerable and underserved communities have the internet connection they need to thrive.
Enacting Policing Reform
Yesterday, I voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the House. As a nation, we must acknowledge that systemic racism and inequality in treatment by law enforcement are pervasive within our society and work to end these injustices. It is in every American’s best interest to ensure our nation’s police officers are held to the highest standard and enact safeguards to protect the public, prohibit federal and state law enforcement from using racial profiling, and ensure that police are held accountable to the communities they serve.
I am proud to stand on the right side of history with my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus in supporting this legislation. This bill will provide law enforcement with enhanced training to manage demanding situations, improve transparency, enact structural change, hold perpetrators of police brutality accountable for their actions, and keep all Americans safe.
Supporting Restaurants During this Crisis
Across New Hampshire, restaurants have been hit hard by the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Some restaurants were able to expand take-out options and outdoor seating as we took necessary safety precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives, but the financial impact of the pandemic has had serious and far-reaching consequences for many of these small businesses.
I was proud to help introduce bipartisan legislation recently to provide a lifeline to the restaurant industry and support Granite State restaurant owners and their employees throughout this public health emergency. You can read more about the legislation here.
News You Can Use
This week, I talked to Alex Ray, the owner and founder of the Common Man restaurants, about his work to distribute free, reusable masks to Granite Staters through “Mask Up NH.” If you are in need of a mask, you can visit MaskUpNH.com for information about where to get a reusable cloth mask free-of-charge. You can watch my discussion with Alex here.
It’s important to take care of your mental health during stressful times like the COVID-19 pandemic. Some stress-reducing tips from the CDC include: talking with family and friends by phone, text, or email; taking breaks from news stories, including social media; and practicing healthy habits, including exercise. For more information about stress and coping, visit CDC.com.
Just over a year ago, seven members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club - five Marine veterans and two of their significant others - were killed in a tragic accident in Randolph. As we honor their lives and our community continues to mourn this tremendous loss, our hearts remain with their families and loved ones.
I’m thrilled to see the proposed designs for the Christa McAuliffe commemorative coin. I was proud to help lead bipartisan efforts in Congress to create this commemorative coin - a wonderful way to honor Christa’s memory and keep her pioneering spirit alive for generations to come.
Free COVID-19 tests are now available to all Granite Staters, and all New Hampshire residents are encouraged to get a test. To sign up for a COVID-19 test, click here.
As always, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) are the best resources to turn to during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Remember: Keep calm and wash your hands, and wear a mask while keeping your distance from others when you are out in public. If you are sick, stay home and call your health care provider. If you live in NH and have questions about coronavirus, dial 2-1-1. Visit CDC.gov for more information.