Sunday 22 August 2021 | 2 a.m
Editor’s Note: As he traditionally does every August, Brian Greenspun is handing out his Where I Stand column to others this month. In presenting the Community Leaders Column Series this year, we think it’s important that our readers, trying to step out of the ravages of the pandemic, hear from some of the people who can help guide us to a better tomorrow. Today’s guest is Senator Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Who, prior to winning the Senate election in 2018, was the U.S. Representative for the 3rd Congressional District of Nevada from 2017 to 2019.
COVID-19 has been an unprecedented test of the Silver State’s resilience. Over the past year, the Nevadans have faced monumental challenges to our health and livelihoods. We have worked hard to overcome these obstacles and are on the road to recovery. We need to take action and get the Nevadans vaccinated, here’s why.
Before COVID, Nevada was stable and prosperous. Unemployment was near historic lows, and we strived to do good for hard-working families and communities across our state. People came to Nevada to find work, start businesses, build a life and start a family.
But, when the pandemic arrived, it hit our state hard, plunging us into a public health crisis and economic downfall.
We’ve seen hospitals, doctor’s offices, and medical facilities pushed to the brink – businesses forced to make impossible decisions to get by and the highest unemployment rate in our state’s history. The people of Nevada – through no fault of their own – have worried about where their next paycheck will come from, whether they will be able to pay their bills, and how they might put food on the table.
Watching our city of Las Vegas – the entertainment capital of the world – dim its lights as thousands of businesses have closed was heartbreaking. Meanwhile, a state well known for its tourism, hospitality and excitement and 24-hour adventures found itself closed for business and without any visitors.
At the onset of this crisis, I wanted the Nevadans to know that my office was open and ready to help. We have partnered with local chambers of commerce, medical professionals and local leaders to provide information, support and resources that would help Nevadans through these incredibly difficult times.
In Congress, I introduced and supported bills to provide, expand, and improve relief efforts in Nevada and across the country. I have also worked to help keep our state’s small businesses open and our schools running. And in March, we helped push through the US bailout, which was enacted. This legislative package provided immediate help to those in need. It also intensified our efforts to ensure that everyone in Nevada can easily receive a vaccine.
And as Nevadans began to get vaccinated, we saw our state make real progress in the fight against COVID-19. Businesses are now open, industries are picking up and schools are offering in-person learning. Once again, the Strip lights up, a sure sign that the Silver State is coming back.
Vaccinations have enabled us to move our state forward, putting us on track to a place where we can finally put COVID in our collective rearview mirror.
Yet, as any driver will tell you, objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear. The point is, this pandemic is not over and we cannot afford to let go. Getting the vaccine is a simple step we can take to keep moving forward and get our life back on track. By getting vaccinated, we can help our condition return to normal and bring us closer to living life to the fullest with our family, friends and loved ones.
During the Senate Health Committee hearings, I spoke with countless health professionals and, while chairing the Tourism, Trade and Export Promotion Subcommittee – a committee created as a result of the pandemic – I’ve heard from many industry experts. The advice from these two groups has always been the same: vaccines will get us out of this pandemic.
Getting the vaccine is safe, free, and the most important thing you can do to help Nevada and our country recover.
COVID-19 doesn’t care whether you are Democrat or Republican, young or old, our urban towns or our rural towns; the pandemic still puts our health at risk. And with the emergence of new variants of COVID, the risk to our health is greater and greater. Vaccines are a guarantee, and by receiving them, we can protect ourselves and limit the spread, allowing us to continue to move forward on our economic recovery. That’s how we come back roaring, getting vaccinated.
We can turn the corner. We can take steps that will help get Nevada families back to work, make it safe for Nevada kids to learn, and reopen Nevada businesses. We can protect ourselves and our loved ones. We can do all of this by choosing to be vaccinated.