Political Odds & Ends, Jan. 6, 2022


U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brooklyn) yesterday issued the following statement on the attempt to assassinate Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry during an official event commemorating the Caribbean country’s independence:

“It is with a heavy heart to learn that over the weekend, as Haiti commemorated its 218th Independence Day, gunmen attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Ariel Henry during an event at a church in the northern city of Gonaïves. As Haiti marks its 218th year of independence, we must remember the spirit of the ancestors who fought to unite all Haitians for the just and successful fight for freedom and human rights,” said Clarke.

“I will continue calling for a productive dialogue and consensus to ensure non-violent progression toward democracy and human rights within Haiti. The road ahead certainly presents challenges, but the Haitian people deserve a chance at a brighter future; to live free from the constant threat of violence and lawlessness,” she added.

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. Photo from her Congressional website.

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) announced yesterday her office is partnering with local pharmacies and medical facilities to expand access to COVID-19 PCR tests, making available thousands of more tests across Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn communities.

“As residents continue to experience long lines at existing testing sites, expanding the number of locations and tests available in our community is key so people can determine whether their symptoms are COVID and properly isolate to stop the spread,” Malliotakis said. “I am proud to partner with RJ Medical & Urgent Care, Richmond Pharmacy & Surgical, Super Health Pharmacy, and Angelina’s Ristorante who have been with us every step of the way in fighting this pandemic to expand access to thousands of tests across four locations in our community. Once again the small business community is going above and beyond during a time of need.”

The sites offering PCR tests include RJ Medical & Urgent Care, 464 Bay Ridge Avenue in Brooklyn; Richmond Pharmacy & Surgical, 1796 Clove Rd. in Staten Island; Super Health Pharmacy, 6390 Amboy Rd. in Staten Island; and the Pop Up Site: Angelina’s Ristorante, 399 Ellis St.  Staten Island, which will be operated by staff from Richmond Pharmacy & Surgical.

Malliotakis, who is vaccinated and has sponsored several COVID-19 vaccine pop-up clinics in Staten Island and southern Brooklyn, has been an outspoken critic of COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

While she encourages Americans to get vaccinated, she argues that stripping people from their livelihoods is the wrong approach and a government overreach that will impact the economy and lead to more staffing shortages in industries across the nation.

If you own or manage a local pharmacy and are interested in partnering with Congresswoman Malliotakis’ office to increase testing or vaccine capacity, please call (718) 568-2870.

Gillibrand Supports Bipartisan Bill Addressing  Retention & Recruitment of Health Care Professionals

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday announced her support of the Bolstering Infectious Outbreak (BIO) Preparedness Workforce Act.

The lawmaker’s support comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed gaps in our nation’s preparedness for public health emergencies and as Omicron continues to spread, many New York State hospitals are facing severe staffing shortages and are nearing capacity.

The bipartisan measure would help address retention and recruitment issues in the health care workforce by removing financial barriers and authorizing $50 million to establish a new student loan repayment program for infectious disease clinicians and bio-preparedness health care professionals.

“We are starting this year as we finished the last – our health care system and providers are under historic levels of stress and they need reinforcements,” said Gillibrand. “This bipartisan bill would establish a loan repayment program to meet the needs of our nation’s health care workforce and attract more students to receive vital clinical care training. We must do everything in our power to eliminate financial barriers and encourage the next generation of infectious disease and public health professionals so New York is well equipped for future crises.”

Qualified individuals working in infectious disease and bio-preparedness and response, including physicians, clinical pharmacists, physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses, may receive up to $50,000 for each year of service, up to a total of $150,000 in loan repayment.

This bill is led by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

Lawmakers Rally for Democracy in Brooklyn on Uprising Anniversary

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brooklyn), Attorney General Letitia James, City Comptroller Brad Lander and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and a bevy of other Democratic lawmakers will rally for democracy in Brooklyn today, Jan. 6 – the one year anniversary of when insurrectionists supporting former President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 Presidential Election.

Among the other lawmakers participating include Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Assembly Members Latrice Walker, Jo Anne Simon and Phara Souffrant Forrest; and City Council Member Crystal Hudson.

The lawmakers maintain that since the attempted coup, states across the country have enacted major restrictions on voting rights and perpetuated the “Big Lie” that the 2020 elections were invalid.

States are the front lines for protecting and expanding voting rights and defending democracy from those who threaten it. On the first anniversary of the attacks, New York leaders will loudly and clearly state to always defend democracy, and will never give up a single inch to the forces undermining voting rights, the lawmakers said.


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