Congressman Brian Higgins released the following statement in response to President Biden’s address to the nation and new federal plans to fight the pandemic.
Higgins said, “Today President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, approved by the House of Representatives earlier this week, and spoke of a detailed strategy to release the painful grip COVID-19 placed on the country a year ago. The last 12 months have been long and hard. Americans have suffered and died. The hopeful words of the President are backed by deliberate action to get us out of this difficult time faster and stronger. This is the honest, focused federal leadership Americans need to get beyond the pandemic.”
Announced by President Biden today:
- Shots in Arms: Every adult in the US will be eligible for a vaccination by May 1, “with the goal of getting the nation closer to normal by July 4th.”
To do this:
- Doubling of the number of pharmacies participating in the federal vaccination program
- Doubling the number of federal-run vaccination centers, like the one established at the Delavan Grider Community Center
- Adding 700 federally qualified health centers to the vaccine distribution program. Higgins previously asked the White House to include Western New York’s health centers. Jericho Road Community Health Center and Neighborhood Health Center were included in the first round of vaccination sites. Today, March 11, Community Health Center of Buffalo and Niagara Falls was added.
- Establishing a federal website and toll-free number to schedule vaccines
- Safe Reopening of Schools
- Distributing the $130 billion provided through the American Rescue Plan for K-12 schools
- Awarding $650 million in testing for K-8 schools
- Prioritizing the vaccination of teachers, staff and childcare workers
More information on how the American Rescue Plan will help Western New York businesses, communities and families is available at: https://higgins.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/higgins-says-american-rescue-plan-lays-the-groundwork-for-a-better.