December 23, 2020 Dear Friend,From my family to yours, Happy Holidays! This has been a very difficult year for everyone, but all is not lost. Kindness, generosity, and good cheer – the spirit of the season – are still alive and well. In addition, there is a light at the end of the tunnel of the COVID-19 crisis with the authorization of two vaccines — most recently, the Moderna vaccine. However, now is not the time to let down our guard against this virus. Until these vaccines are widely available, we must continue taking precautions including wearing masks, staying home if we are sick, maintaining physical distance from others, and frequently washing our hands. Staying apart from those we love is especially difficult now during the holiday season, but it is critical that we keep ourselves and others safe by avoiding travel if possible, celebrating at home with the people we live with, skipping large holiday gatherings, and finding ways to safely celebrate virtually or outdoors. For more information on how to celebrate the holidays safely, visit CDC.gov.
December 23, 2020
From my family to yours, Happy Holidays! This has been a very difficult year for everyone, but all is not lost. Kindness, generosity, and good cheer – the spirit of the season – are still alive and well. In addition, there is a light at the end of the tunnel of the COVID-19 crisis with the authorization of two vaccines — most recently, the Moderna vaccine. However, now is not the time to let down our guard against this virus. Until these vaccines are widely available, we must continue taking precautions including wearing masks, staying home if we are sick, maintaining physical distance from others, and frequently washing our hands.
Staying apart from those we love is especially difficult now during the holiday season, but it is critical that we keep ourselves and others safe by avoiding travel if possible, celebrating at home with the people we live with, skipping large holiday gatherings, and finding ways to safely celebrate virtually or outdoors. For more information on how to celebrate the holidays safely, visit CDC.gov.
Passing Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief
I’m pleased the House and Senate came to an agreement this week to pass much-needed COVID-19 relief, fund the government and prevent a shutdown.This legislation was long overdue, and though it does not include everything we have been fighting for over the past months, the legislation passed will provide critical support for our health care systems and vaccine distribution capacity, increased funding for small businesses, and will extend unemployment benefits for Granite Staters who are out of work. I am pleased that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle included key New Hampshire priorities that I advocated for, including bolstered funding for job-creating projects through the Northern Border Regional Commission, additional help for small farms as well as families struggling with food insecurity,increased funding for mental health and addiction treatment, and new housing support for low-income families and survivors of sexual violence. I’m also glad this legislation included vaccine distribution funding modeled after a bill I led earlier this year with Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.This bill would require that the vaccine be distributed equitably across the country to ensure that rural and low income communities receive their fair share.
While this package will bring some help to those who need it most, we must remember that it is not a fix-all solution. Far too many have lost their jobs, are struggling to get by, cannot find quality, affordable child care, or cannot return to work because of concerns for their health. Congress must continue working to ensure no one is left behind, and I will keep urging my colleagues to advance legislation that addresses budget shortfalls at the town and county level. With vaccines being distributed in New Hampshire and across the country, this legislation is a positive step as we work to put COVID-19 behind us.
The legislation was sent to President Trump’s desk, but he is now calling for what Democrats have demanded for months — more relief for struggling American families — before he signs the bill. The $600 payments in the legislation we just passed were a compromise — not nearly enough, but Republicans in Congress blocked our efforts for robust COVID relief. For months, we have been fighting for additional relief that focuses on the needs of the American people. This bill was a down payment — not a long-term solution. I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will agree to amend the bill to include higher direct economic impact payments and join us in putting those facing the greatest challenges first.
Helping Live Venues and Performance Spaces Stay Afloat
I applaud the inclusion and passage of key provisions of the Save Our Stages Act, which I cosponsored, as part of a new Shuttered Venue Operator grant program in the COVID relief and omnibus spending package. The coronavirus pandemic and necessary public health measures have taken a tremendous financial toll on our state, and our live music and performance industry have been hit particularly hard. Independent live music venues and the performance industry employ thousands of Granite Staters, and it's past time we provide much-needed support to these businesses. In addition to providing general enjoyment to the public, these venues also play a meaningful role in the economic wellbeing of communities in New Hampshire and across the country.
I’m proud this beneficial legislation was included in the omnibus spending package and look forward to continuing to support our performance industry and working to bring support to those who need it in New Hampshire.
Safe, Effective Vaccines
As I’ve said in the past—a safe, effective vaccine that enjoys the full confidence of the American public is one of our best defenses against the COVID-19 pandemic. We must ensure that these vaccines are distributed efficiently and equitably and that the public trusts their safety and efficacy.
The FDA emergency use authorization of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is great news for New Hampshire and rural communities across the country. The Moderna vaccine, because it is easier to transport and store, will expand the settings where it can be used and distributed to include rural areas and pharmacies or medical offices that lack specialized equipment like ultra-low temperature refrigerators. Ensuring the COVID-19 vaccines are accessible is key to ending this pandemic, and with Moderna's FDA authorization, we are one step closer.
Sending Merry Wishes to Our Troops
It was wonderful to join Dr. Laura Landerman-Garber’s Holiday Card Challenge For Our Military again this year. Our brave men and women in uniform sacrifice so much for us and our country, and many are spending the holidays away from their families - I can think of no better way to celebrate than thanking them for their service and sending them merry wishes!
Writing holiday messages to our troops!
Honoring Christa McAuliffe's Legacy
Christa McAuliffe was a smart, charming, and kind educator who left her mark on countless students by encouraging them to seek out the best in themselves and always reach a little higher. The Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin will honor her enduring legacy and benefit Dean Kamen’s FIRST to engage and inspire young people to become leaders in STEM fields. Christa represented the best of New Hampshire and this coin will help to cement her place in American history for generations to come.
News You Can Use
COVID-19 infections are rising rapidly in New Hampshire and across the country. While it’s important to remember that many people who get the virus never develop symptoms, you can protect yourself and your loved ones by understanding how the virus spreads,recognizing common symptoms and warning signs, and by taking the recommended precautions.
As always, theCDC and theNew Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services are the best resources to turn to during the COVID-19 public health emergency. If you are sick, stay home and call your health care provider. If you live in NH and have questions about coronavirus, dial 211 or visitCDC.gov for more information.
Remember: hope and brighter days are on the way! We’re all in this together, and we will come out stronger on the other side. In the meantime, I hope you have a fun and safe holiday, and don’t forget to wear a mask when you are in public. Here’s to 2021!
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