Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt released the following statement after attending the Operation Warp Speed COVID-19 Vaccine Summit at the White House on Tuesday, Dec. 8:
It was an honor to be invited to participate in today’s vaccine summit at the White House and to be the only New York State official in attendance. I want to applaud President Trump and everyone involved with Operation Warp Speed for the truly historic effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine which will help close this challenging chapter in our nation’s history.
Beginning last March, I have worked as both a state legislator and a member of the Army National Guard to ensure Hudson Valley residents have the resources and assistance they need to combat and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. I have witnessed the success that can be achieved when government at the federal, state and local levels work with one another and with the private sector. As one of the nation’s most affected regions, my focus will be to help ensure that every Hudson Valley resident has access to the vaccine.
After speaking with Dr. Deborah Birx, who has led the White House Coronavirus Task Force from the outset of the pandemic, and General Perna, who serves as Chief Operating Officer of Operation Warp Speed, I have confidence that the infrastructure will be available to provide New York State with its initial supply of the vaccine.
As a member of the State Assembly, I will work with the Governor’s office to ensure that priority is given to front line health care workers, first responders and our region’s most vulnerable residents. Further, I believe that it is critically important that all appropriate health care agencies, including public, private and not-for-profit providers, are engaged to expedite the vaccine’s distribution.
Tomorrow, I will be contacting the Governor’s office to ensure that the necessary plans are in place to protect Hudson Valley residents.