As we continue to reopen our economy in New Hampshire, I remain committed to supporting our frontline workers, small businesses, and all Granite Staters during this public health crisis. While the decrease in new COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire over the last few weeks is encouraging, we can’t let our guard down yet. We must continue to take steps to prevent the virus from spreading and keep those around us safe. By wearing masks in public, washing our hands frequently, and practicing physical distancing, we can all do our part to protect our small businesses, health care providers, and vulnerable community members who are relying on all of us toprevent a spike in coronavirus cases. People across New Hampshire have sacrificed far too much for us to backslide on the progress we’ve made.Tune in hereto hear about how you can keep yourself and others safe, and for an update on my work to ensure that all Americans have access to a vaccine once one is available.
Thank You to All of Our Essential Workers
Watch my "thank you" video to NH's frontline workershere.
We Cannot Politicize COVID-19
The Trump Administration'sdecision to order hospitals to bypass the CDCand send all COVID-19 data directly to Washington is unprecedented and deeply troubling. This move has alarmed health experts who fear that this data will be kept from the public, researchers, and reporters - enabling the Administration to further politicize science and undermine its own health officials.
At a time when cases are surging across the nation and more than 136,000 Americans have died from complications due to coronavirus, it's critical that the Trump Administration continues to make COVID-19 data public so that we can work to stop the spread of this virus, save lives, and reopen our economy.
Ensuring Access to Testing
Earlier this week, I heard from thecommercial diagnostic testing industry on their ongoing efforts to develop and ramp-up manufacturing of testing to support patients and public health. We discussed the key types of testing for COVID-19 and the importance of testing for diagnosis, the presence of antibodies, and potential immunity, as well as measuring the success of vaccines currently in development. As we look ahead to our economic recovery, we must continue to expand the availability of and access to testing to ensure we can safely reopen our communities.
Administering a COVID-19 Vaccine Quickly & Equitably
On Monday, I was briefed by Operation Warp Speed on thestatus of vaccine development for COVID-19. Once a vaccine is available, we must also be prepared to administer it quickly and equitably. I was proud to introduce theCoronavirus Vaccine Development Actlast month to enhance our nation’s manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines and products necessary to administer the vaccines. In my appearance on WMUR’s CloseUp on Sunday, I discussed my work to ensure that the U.S. will be able to mass-produce and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine once one is available. You canwatch that conversation here.
I alsospoke in favorofScarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act.A year and a half ago, my family and I lost my great-niece, Lia, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Our family will never be the same without our Lia, but we have the opportunity to save families from the same heartache and devastation by advancing legislation like this. This bill can help us better understand sudden infant death and sudden unexpected death for children by improving national guidelines and data consistency as well as offer support for families.
In New Hampshire and across the nation, the burdensome tax created by an error in theTax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017- the tax reform bill passed by congressional Republicans at the end of 2017 - is causing an increase in costs and making it more difficult to ensure families have clean drinking water. This mistake has led to enormous tax increases on infrastructure projects including the Southern New Hampshire Regional Water Project, and these costs are commonly passed along to consumers. I introducedbipartisan legislationto fix this error and ensure that Granite State families aren't burdened with significantly higher water rates.
The Roundtable on Water Infrastructure.Watch here.
Supporting NH Breweries and Local Small Businesses
Small businesses across the country are grappling with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the brewing industry in New Hampshire faces unique challenges with the closure of restaurants and limitations on capacity. In the Granite State, breweries play an important role in our communities and our economy. I’m grateful that Schilling Beer Company and the NH Brewers Association joined me on Tuesday for avirtual discussionon how we can continue to support this industry. These conversations are important as I continue working to ensure that Main Street and our local small businesses can bounce back after this health crisis subsides. Tune into our full conversationhere.
With Jeff Cozzens, CEO of Schilling Beer Company, in 2018
News You Can Use
This week, I joined a bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators, including House Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Mark Takano, insending a bipartisan letterto the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie urging him to expedite implementation of the Government Accountability Office (GAO)’s seven recommendations to address sexual harassment throughout VA.As an institution that is charged with providing health care and benefits to survivors of sexual violence, VA must lead on all fronts on addressing this issue.
I was encouraged to see that many major national retail stores includingWal-Mart, Target, and CVS havedecided to require masks in their storesto prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep shoppers, employees, and our communities safe. Many people who are infected with COVID-19 never show symptoms, but they can unknowingly spread the virus to others.There is overwhelmingevidencethat if we all do our part to wear masks while we are in public, we can save lives.
I was recently contacted by Shannon Howland of Littleton, who was having trouble obtaining a document she needed to receive her Internal Revenue Service (IRS) refund. My staff worked with the IRS and helped Shannon get her refund.If my office may be of assistance with a problem you are experiencing, please reach out to my staff at 603-226-1002 so we can learn how we may help.
Specialized COVID-19 toolkits for schools, businesses & workplaces, summer camps, travelers, community & faith-based organizations, young adults, and more areavailable on the CDC’s websitewith important information including videos, resources, checklists and FAQs.
COVID-19 tests are 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.