To watch the senator’s speech, click here.
WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today took to the Senate floor to recognize all Granite Staters as March’s Granite Staters of the Month for coming together during the COVID-19 pandemic to try to slow the spread of the virus and help those in need. The senator emphasized the importance of supporting one another through difficult times and highlighted some of the ways that Granite Staters have been pulling together to help those in their communities.
Click here or see below for the senator’s floor speech recognizing all Granite Staters as March’s Granite Staters of the Month:
Mr. President. Granite Staters are known for our all-hands-on-deck spirit -- coming together in difficult times to support our friends and neighbors. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to change our daily routines and adjust to new challenges. However, one thing that has not changed throughout this public health emergency is the compassion and empathy we are seeing from people all across the state.
Every month, I recognize a person or group of people in New Hampshire who have gone above and beyond to help their community. I recognize them as the Granite Stater of the Month. But this month, I couldn’t choose just one person, and instead wish to recognize all Granite Staters for coming together to try to slow the spread of this virus and to help those in need.
All across New Hampshire, people are taking commonsense steps both to keep themselves healthy and to avoid unknowingly passing along the virus to others, particularly those who are at high risk. This includes washing your hands thoroughly and for at least 20 seconds and wiping down frequently touched surfaces like cell phones and door handles. It also means practicing social distancing by only going out in public when absolutely necessary and keeping at least six feet between you and another person.
We’ve also seen that events that people look forward to all year, like the Boston Marathon or St. Patrick’s Day festivities, have been cancelled or postponed. People are following public health officials’ guidelines by staying at home and cancelling long-awaited travel plans. Taking these necessary measures is hard and unpleasant, but it has been inspiring to see how many people are willing to make these sacrifices to protect the public health.
Additionally, many people might only contract mild symptoms from COVID-19, especially those who are younger and in good health. However, it is heartening that so many of these individuals recognize how important it is to protect others who might be at higher risk -- like those over 60 or people living with chronic health conditions.
As many Americans know, it’s also crucial that we don’t overwhelm our health care system and prevent an influx of patients from crowding hospitals, which could lead to a shortage of critical medical equipment and personal protective gear. Collective actions, like staying home and minimizing interactions with others, will be crucial in combating this public health emergency.
As people’s lives continue to experience disruption, I have been inspired to see such a tremendous outpouring of support from people all across New Hampshire in an effort to help one another during this very difficult time. For instance, nonprofits, food pantries, and volunteers are partnering with local schools in New Hampshire to combat food insecurity in their communities. One school district held a food drive over the weekend with a local nonprofit. They were concerned that given the last minute nature of the event, there would be low participation. To their surprise, the school reported that the community came out in “droves” to donate goods.
Stories like this are abundant in communities across my state, and I am immensely proud of how people across New Hampshire have come together to respond to this public health emergency.
In the coming weeks and months, it will be even more important that Granite Staters and all Americans lean on one another for support. I encourage everyone to reach out to your neighbors, especially those at higher risk, to see what you can do to help. If you have an older neighbor, see if they need help picking up their groceries. If you know someone who is a medical professional with young kids at home, ask if you can babysit.
Right now, it is important for people to remember what we can all do to help contain the spread of this virus. In New Hampshire, we pull together and we help one another get through challenging times, and I know that we can come together to slow the spread of this virus.
Thank you Mr. President. I yield the floor.