McMorris Rodgers pushes for schools to reopen in Eastern Washington

McMorris Rodgers pushes for schools to reopen in Eastern Washington

(PRESS RELEASE/Cathy McMorris Rodgers Office)

Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today continued fighting to reopen schools in Eastern Washington, sharing stories from families who have felt the deep impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle. During today’s Energy and Commerce Committee markup of the COVID-19 reconciliation package, Rodgers said the following:

“Five separate times, we upheld the rich history of bipartisan work on Energy and Commerce. We appealed to the better angels among us, and we plowed the hard ground necessary to legislate and deliver relief to people in desperate need. It was for families like Shannon’s in Spokane Valley.”

“Shannon says that virtual school is nothing like homeschool. Her daughter is in hybrid learning. She’s falling behind. Shannon coaches young athletes, too. She told me that young people in our state have been neglected. They’ve been ignored. They’re told that they’re not important. Her daughter’s friend tried to end her life.”

“I’ve heard from a mental health provider in Eastern Washington, she’s a mental health therapist. Her caseload is up seventy-five percent. In ten days, seven teens reported self harm and suicide attempts. All seven had zero history, but the isolation took a severe toll.”

“We all want [the pandemic] to end for the health and wellness of our communities—so that our kids can get back to school, people can get back to work, and everyone who wants to have the vaccine, and needs to have a vaccine gets one.”
“We need to get the vaccine in people’s arms—and we need to lead with the same urgency that we did to develop these vaccines through Operation Warp Speed. Let’s be bold. Let’s really figure out what it’s going to take to protect our most vulnerable populations, get people back to work, give people the courage to dream again. We need to increase the vaccination rate.”

“For families like Carla’s in my district. Carla is a mom of 3 teenagers. They want life to go back to normal. She’s a softball coach. 60 percent of her team is in counseling for anxiety and depression. She’s had young athletes call her in the middle of the night who are contemplating suicide. They don’t see a way through it.”

“Widespread vaccines to Americans is a way that we will get through it. It’s how we’re going to reopen and restore our way of life for our kids.”

This week, Cathy also joined her colleagues in sending a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to follow the science and get our children back in school. In the letter, the representatives wrote:

“Our children are suffering, and it is time to allow them to resume their education with in-person instruction. By allowing our nation’s schools to remain shuttered, you are depriving these children of the people and support systems they depend on. If you continue to ignore the data and allow special interest groups to hold your Administration hostage, you will be directly responsible for exacerbating the mental health crisis many children in this country are experiencing.”