Statement Of Senator Leahy Unofficial Preliminary Transcript Vermont Marks A COVID Vaccination Milestone

. . . . Senate Floor

Madam president, we had interesting news in Vermont this morning. Our governor, Governor Scott, announced that we've reached 80% immunity – vaccinations – so the state will in effect reopen.

Now, I mention this because right from the beginning, and I've worked closely with our governor, we tried to show no partisanship in this. I'm a Democrat. He's a Republican. We are both first and foremost Vermonters. And restrictions were put in place. Efforts were made to vaccinate. I know my wife, Marcelle, and I went to some of these vaccination centers. We had everybody from the Vermont National Guard, to veterans groups, to schools, to nurses who are volunteering, all over in those places. And everybody would line up and they had -- they'd say: “I'm scheduled at 9:20. I'll be there at 9:20.” And people wanted to get the vaccination.

There have been some hardships while this was going on because a lot of our businesses could not open or had to open, just in limited ways. But, but they kept at it. And we all worked together to help with aid to the state during the COVID time. And I was proud of what I might be able to do, but I'm mostly proud of the Vermonters. They set politics aside. They set partisanship aside, and they said: “how do we make us a safer state.” 

So I just thought I'd note that. All my trips back home, all the times I joined with the various people, Dr. Levine, our chief physician in Vermont, the governor, and others. Our Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray. All of us worked together and it has paid off. 

And I must admit when I go home this weekend, this coming weekend, I'm going to walk out of that plane with a bigger smile than I usually have. I always have a smile coming home to the state where I was born, but this weekend is going to be an especially big smile.  

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VIDEO:  Click here to watch Senator Leahy’s Floor remarks.