Missouri Communities Working Together
This week started out with a somber occasion at the Capitol but ended with some good news from our district.
I hope it is capped by a big win for the Chiefs in the Super Bowl (featuring a special flyover from a Whiteman AFB B-2 stealth bomber during the National Anthem) and welcome your thoughts on the news of this week below.
Remembering U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick
Sadly, we paid our respects in the Capitol Rotunda this week for the life of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. Officer Sicknick had served our Capitol as a police officer since 2008, bravely protecting it from harm until the tragic events on January 6th took his life.
The sacrifices made by him, as well as officers Howard Liebengood and Jeffery Smith, will never be forgotten. May these heroes rest in peace.
Throughout the halls of the Capitol, our small community has come together to show support for our police officers and express our gratitude for their service.
Voting Against the Fast Track Budgeting
This week, we voted on a budget reconciliation resolution in the House which would allow our nation’s budget to be “fast-tracked” through both chambers of Congress, requiring only 51 votes in the Senate for passage.
So what does this mean? Simply put, the budget is now effectively a shell and will be used by Democrats to bypass the usual traditional process which allows for proper government oversight and input necessary to craft thorough, thoughtful policy that includes funding provisions for all aspects of government. This bill does not do that. It is being used to pass future coronavirus legislation and bypass Republican input. I don’t believe this is the way to pass a bill.
As legislators, we are responsible for addressing the needs of our country while also being a wise steward of American tax dollars. We must resist the temptation to steamroll our legislative process, issue a blank check, and further limit our future generations’ well-being.
Special Order on Protecting Life
On Wednesday, my colleagues and I held a special order on the House floor to remember the 62.5 million children who lost their lives over the last five decades from abortion.
It has been 48 years since the passage of Roe v. Wade and our children continue to suffer and die by the millions. This is unfathomable.
The single, most effective life-saving remedy to this scourge is the Hyde Amendment. Over 2.4 million children are alive today because of Hyde protections. We know Hyde can’t save every life, but it can save many, and I will continue to resist efforts by House Democrats to get rid of this protection.
Let us not forget the women and children who have suffered and perished from abortion. Let us hear their cry and silence them no more.
Missouri COVID-19 Vaccine Update
This week, Governor Parson announced a new vaccine distribution plan for Missourians. Currently, our state receives approximately 76,000 vaccine doses per week. These will be allocated as such:
- Hospitals - 53%
- Mobile mass vaccination clinics facilitated by the Missouri National Guard - 23%
- Local public health agencies such as health departments - 8%
- Federally qualified community health centers - 8%
- Community providers - 8%
Many constituents have also contacted our office regarding vaccination site locations. This information is constantly changing as a result of limited vaccine supplies and the need to ensure equitable distribution throughout the state. Please be advised that almost every partner requires some kind of registration for vaccination due to limited supply. For additional information, please contact your local health department, healthcare provider, or health clinics.
I have also taken proactive measures, speaking recently with Governor Parson on vaccine supply and distribution. He mentioned that FEMA allocated a large surplus of vaccines for long term care facilities through CVS and Walgreens. The surplus resulted from distribution formulas at the federal level being based on the number of facility beds (not occupancy rates) and, with COVID, not all beds are full. In addition, some patients and staff declined receiving a vaccine at this time. These extra doses are being redistributed now to independent pharmacies, according to the governor, to give to others who qualify and want a vaccine.
Lastly, I have been made aware of attempts by scammers to secure private information in their efforts to fraudulently receive coronavirus vaccinations. I urge all Missourians to stay vigilant regarding these potential criminal activities and not to provide sensitive information to anyone unless you know they are a legitimate healthcare provider.
Missouri Communities Working Together
I have heard many wonderful stories about our communities working together to help vaccinate Missourians.
The Hickory County Health Department, home to the highest per capita population of senior citizens in our state, has been working around the clock to address the needs of their most vulnerable constituents. So many people have volunteered to assist with monitoring vaccinated patients that they have had to turn volunteers away. Thankfully, they have been able to administer over 1,200 vaccinations to their fellow Missourians.
Also, with some counties and regions limited in their capacity for vaccinations due to the cold storage requirements of the Pfizer vaccine, neighboring counties have chipped in to help. The Gardner Denver facility in Sedalia loaned a subzero freezer to Bothwell Regional Health Center which has been vital in storing COVID-19 vaccines.
Thanks to this equipment, Bothwell has now been able to receive Pfizer vaccines from the Benton County Health Department. After ordering an early shipment of vaccines to administer to workers in long-term care facilities, Benton County discovered nursing homes would already receive a federal allotment. The health department then donated these additional vaccines to Bothwell now that they had the means to store and use them.
This kind of cooperation and collaboration is helping our communities defeat this coronavirus pandemic once and for all. I couldn’t be more proud of healthcare providers and all the volunteers throughout our district.