BUFFALO — As cases rise by the thousands in Erie County,U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will hold a press conference Friday morning at the University at Buffalo in support of her bipartisan COVID-19 and Pandemic Response Centers of Excellence Act. 

She will be joined by Congressman Higgins (NY-26) and University at Buffalo Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Allison Brashear. The rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant highlights the need for forward-thinking federal investments that would provide direct support to our nation’s emergency response preparedness so we are better equipped when the next crisis hits. 

Over the past two weeks, newly reported COVID-19 cases in Erie County have increased by 310%, and the county’s high test positivity rate indicates that cases could still be significantly undercounted. Gillibrand’s bicameral bill, which is led in the House by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY-07) and Congressman John Katko (R-NY-24), and co-sponsored by Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), would designate academic medical centers like the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences as research and communication hubs that would improve the United States’ ability to swiftly respond to emerging public health threats, track new variants like Omicron and to continue battling COVID-19. Academic medical centers are already at the epicenter of integrating research, clinical operations, vaccine development, and education, and are uniquely positioned to serve as a bridge between government and public health.

DATE:           TOMORROW, Friday, January 7th 

TIME:            10:15 AM

WHO:         U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

          Congressman Brian Higgins

          University at Buffalo Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Allison Brashear

WHERE:      University at Buffalo

                    955 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14203

                   Tunnel near the NFTA Metro Entrance

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