November 20, 2020 Dear Friend,I am heartbroken that the U.S. has lost more than 250,000 Americans to COVID-19. This is a grim milestone for our country, and I send my deepest condolences to those who have lost a loved one to this virus. Here in New Hampshire, nearly one quarter of all COVID cases occurred in the past two weeks - an alarming increase. While we have hope for a vaccine in the near future, we all have a role to play in protecting our communities, slowing the spread and saving lives. Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, practice physical distancing, keep gatherings small, and stay home if you are feeling sick. For the Thanksgiving holiday next week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is strongly urging Americans to not travel and to instead spend the holiday only with people from their own household. Virtual gatherings and delivering family and friends food in a way that avoids contact are also low-risk activities folks can take part in this Thanksgiving. For more tips and information on how to have a safe Thanksgiving, click here.
November 20, 2020
I am heartbroken that the U.S. has lost more than 250,000 Americans to COVID-19. This is a grim milestone for our country, and I send my deepest condolences to those who have lost a loved one to this virus. Here in New Hampshire, nearly one quarter of all COVID cases occurred in the past two weeks - an alarming increase. While we have hope for a vaccine in the near future, we all have a role to play in protecting our communities, slowing the spread and saving lives. Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, practice physical distancing, keep gatherings small, and stay home if you are feeling sick.
For the Thanksgiving holiday next week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is strongly urging Americans to not travel and to instead spend the holiday only with people from their own household. Virtual gatherings and delivering family and friends food in a way that avoids contact are also low-risk activities folks can take part in this Thanksgiving. For more tips and information on how to have a safe Thanksgiving, click here.
A Vaccine is On the Horizon, So Taking Precautions Now to Save Lives is Crucial
I’m so proud of New Hampshire’s role in our national effort to develop and produce a vaccine for COVID-19. Lonza Biologic’s Portsmouth facility has been manufacturing the Moderna vaccine, which preliminary data has shown to be nearly 95% effective. Developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is the first step - mass producing and equitably distributing it to hundreds of millions of Americans will be a significant endeavor. It will be some time before a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available to the public, so for now, we must continue to take precautions.
Calling for Much-Needed COVID-19 Relief to Aid Struggling Granite Staters
Speaking on the House floor in support of further coronavirus relief. Watch here.
Today I spoke on the House floor to urge my colleagues and leadership in Congress to reach a compromise and pass much-needed relief as our country continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We must extend critical unemployment assistance to the thousands of Granite Staters who have lost their jobs and will see their benefits expire the day after Christmas. We must provide relief for our state and local governments that have spent millions of dollars responding to this pandemic and are facing devastating budget shortfalls when the legislature reconvenes in January.
Small businesses, especially restaurants, continue to face the negative economic consequences of this pandemic, and Congress must renew critical portions of the bipartisan CARES Act that served as a lifeline for our business community. The House has already passed two comprehensive pieces of legislation and I was proud to support these bills. We need to see real action and leadership from the Senate and outgoing Trump Administration to get the job done.
Committing to a Smooth, Peaceful Transition of Power
It’s time for the Trump Administration to start working with the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition Team and ensure a peaceful, smooth transfer of power. Our nation is facing the worst pandemic in modern history and blocking the Biden-Harris Administration from having access to the information and resources they need to confront the COVID-19 public health crisis will put lives at risk.
Thanking the Postal Service for Their Work
My conversation with USPS Workers. Read more here.
On Tuesday, I joined NH postal workers, legislators, community allies, members of the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation, and supporters of the US Postal Service to thank them for their work defending and upholding the crucial work of the USPS despite partisan efforts to inhibit the distribution of mail.
The U.S. Postal Service is crucial to the everyday lives of Granite Staters and to our democracy - especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic - and we must do everything we can to protect it. Granite Staters and Americans across the nation depend on the USPS for their medications, voting, paychecks, Social Security, and so many other essential needs. As we continue to combat the COVID-19 public health crisis, the USPS must remain a reliable service for all Americans. I will continue working to protect and support the USPS, its mission, tradition, and its many employees through my work in Congress.
Protecting Granite Staters from Pandemic Scams
Speaking on the Floor about the Pandemic Scams Act. Watch here.
The Combating Pandemic Scams Act of 2020, which I helped introduce earlier this year, passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday. I have been deeply moved by Granite Staters and Americans across the country who are committed to helping their neighbors through this crisis. Sadly, where many see an opportunity to lend a helping hand, others see a chance to scam unsuspecting victims. That’s why I helped to introduce this important bill to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our communities and crack down on COVID-19 scams. I’m glad my colleagues have joined together in support of this commonsense measure, and I will continue working to support Americans through this unprecedented time.
Addressing the Opioid Crisis and Supporting Those Struggling with Addiction
This week, the House passed three bills from the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force’s Legislative Agenda to help ensure those struggling with addiction get the support they need and prevent the distribution of illicit narcotics. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the need for increased efforts to address the substance misuse and opioid epidemic. As the founder and co-chair of the Task Force, I’ve focused on bringing together Republicans and Democrats to drive congressional action to respond to the substance abuse crisis that has devastated communities in New Hampshire and across the country. I urge the Senate to act immediately on these important measures, and I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to combat this epidemic and keep Americans safe.
I appreciated the opportunity to hear from those on the frontlines at the New Hampshire Health Care Association on Wednesday. Our health care professionals have undertaken heroic work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, expressing our gratitude verbally is not enough - we must show that gratitude through our actions. That’s why I’ve called on the Department of Health and Human Services to distribute funding to ensure New Hampshire long-term care and nursing facilities receive adequate funding. I will continue to bring the voices of Granite State health care professionals to the table and ensure our frontline workers have the support they need.
Promoting Economic Development through the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC)
Yesterday, I joined Representatives Chris Pappas, Elise Stefanik, Peter Welch and Chellie Pingree in writing to the leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in support of continued funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) as Congress works to fund the government beyond December. While the Commission has made great progress promoting economic development and job growth in our communities, continued federal investment in the NBRC is critical to sustaining its efforts. The NBRC is a strategic use of taxpayer dollars and leverages significant private capital for projects in our states. It is clear that we need to be encouraging economic and community development through continued funding of this critical program.
Investing in Workforce Training Programs
Today, the House passed the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation I cosponsored that will invest more than $3.5 billion over five years to create nearly 1 million additional apprenticeship opportunities. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant upheaval to our economy and force people out of work, it is critical for us to take additional action to mitigate the harmful impacts of this crisis. This legislation makes key investments in a work training program that has proven results of success for both workers and employers and will help put workers on the path to a bright future. I urge my Senate colleagues to swiftly bring this bill to a vote.
News You Can Use
During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to affordable, quality health coverage is more important than ever. Enrollment in healthcare.gov is open NOW through December 15th. If you need coverage or want to make changes to your existing plan for 2021, visit healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.
Medicare’s Open Enrollment period is also happening now. From now until December 7th, you can enroll in Medicare health and drug plans. Visit medicare.gov for more information.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched a final push to encourage everyone who doesn't normally file a tax return to register to receive an Economic Impact Payment. If you or someone you know has not yet received a COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment, you must register by TOMORROW, November 21 to receive the $1,200 relief check. For more information,click here.
While COVID-19 is at the front of everyone’s minds, it’s important to remember that influenza (the flu) is also a major concern as we approach the winter months. Public health officials and the CDC recommend that Americans 6 months and older get a flu vaccine, and it’s especially important this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on where to get a flu shot, click here.
COVID-19 testing is available at many locations throughout the Granite State - click here for a list of testing sites (and see map below).
As always, the CDC and the New 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 visit CDC.gov for more information.