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Gillibrand Pushes For Community Health Center Funding In COVID Relief Bill

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
Paul Sancya
/
AP
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York wants Congress to allocate $13.5 billion in coronavirus relief for community health centers to continue responding to the pandemic.

Gillibrand said the community health centers will be key for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in rural areas and communities of color.

“It's more important than ever that we take every step possible to stem the spread of this disease. Every American must be able to access testing, treatment and vaccines in their own community,” Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand is concerned that many community health centers would be without a dedicated source of federal funding.

She believes new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will be able to push it through Congress at a time when connecting vaccine hesitant communities to the COVID-19 vaccine is crucial.

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that Blacks have been getting sick and dying from coronavirus at a higher rate than other racial groups — yet are less likely to seek the vaccine.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.