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Shaheen visits Berlin to discuss COVID spike


by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter

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Last week, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen was in Berlin to discuss the recent spike in COVID cases with local leaders. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
November 18, 2021
BERLIN — Last Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was in Berlin at the Cos County Family Health Services, along with local health care providers and school leaders to discuss the rise in COVID-19 cases in the area.

Shaheen said, "I'm glad most of the federal funding the congressional delegation secured is finally moving forward and will soon be out the door, but this never should have been held up in the first place. It's dangerous that the vaccine, the only tool we have to put an end to the pandemic has become a political football."

The Senator continued, "This week, New Hampshire recorded the highest number of COVID cases since January, since before the vaccine was widely available. COVID cases are surging and there are delays rolling out the vaccine for our kids. This is precisely what health experts warned would happen without swift approval of these critical dollars."

She added, "I'm deeply appreciative of our health care providers for their service on the front lines and their continued advocacy to keep Granite Staters safe and healthy. I joined North Country representatives from our health care and education sectors today to echo their calls for leaders to put the health and well-being of our families first. The only way to protect Granite Staters and get our economy back on track is to end this pandemic once and for all, and to do that, we need to get shots in arms now."

On hand at the event was Ken Gordon, CEO of Coos Family Health Services along with David Backler, Superintendent of SAU 20, and Brian O'Hearn, Chief Nursing Officer and VP of Patient Services at AVH.

O'Hearn commented, "This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, all of the COVID patients at AVH are not vaccinated."

Superintendent Tackler mentioned the emotional well being of students, commenting "We saw an end to the pandemic and then they took that away. We know that vaccinations are a critical component in maintaining kids in school and we need to do anything we can to achieve that."

Adding to the conversation, Gordon said, "There will be other opportunities before the Executive Council on this and it is important that they support actions that will increase access to vaccinations throughout the state."

Prior to traveling to Berlin, Shaheen stopped in Colebrook to visit the American Polymers facility for a tour of the plant and to receive information regarding new equipment that was used to meet the high demand for PPE during the pandemic.

On her visit to Colebrook, Shaheen said, "The pandemic exposed how urgently the United States needs to bolster the domestic supply chain and that starts with investing in our local manufacturers. American Performance Polymers is playing an important role in our effort to do just that, which is why my office was excited to assist APP in securing a DoD contract that will enhance their ability to ramp up production of critical personal protective equipment for medical staff and frontline workers."

Lastly, she said, "This in turn will strengthen our supply chain and create jobs in the North Country. I'll continue to work across the aisle in the Senate to invest in our domestic supply chain and ensure the United States is always prepared, should crisis strike."

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
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