Announcing Federally Operated Vaccination Center at the Pipkin Building
This week, I was delighted to announce – jointly, with The White House – that the Pipkin Building near Memphis’ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium will be the site of a federally operated community vaccination center capable of delivering 3,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine a day. I expressed my appreciation to both President Biden and Vice President Harris for keeping an eye on Tennessee’s Ninth Congressional District as they continue their exemplary effort to vaccinate 90 percent of all adults in America by May 1. I also announced more than $19 million in grants to local community health centers. These funds were made available after Democrats in Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the American Rescue Plan. I will be sharing news about other local beneficiaries of the much-needed relief bill in the days ahead. The entire country is concerned with a federal court ruling out of Memphis that has, for the time being, declared the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium unenforceable in the Western District of Tennessee. I urged the Department of Justice this week to appeal the ruling and do all it can to reverse this inhumane decision to throw people out of their homes during a public health and economic crisis. I want to wish everyone a good Passover and a Happy Easter. Sunday is also the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in our city. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.
On Wednesday, the White House announced it will establish a federally operated community vaccination center at the Pipkin Building near the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in the old Mid-South Fairgrounds. It will be operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will be capable of dispensing 3,000 shots a day in addition to Tennessee’s regular allocation. This is truly great news for the Ninth Congressional District and a testament to the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ensuring every adult is eligible for the vaccine by May 1. I’m pleased President Biden is looking out for my constituents and have thanked him on our behalf. See my release on the announcement here and the White House announcement here.
The increasingly popular American Rescue Plan I voted for and that the President signed into law continues to shower benefits on Memphis. This week, I announced that Christ Community Health Services, Tri-State Community Health Center and Memphis Health Center together received $19.4 million in grants authorized by the Rescue Plan. This is a substantial investment in programs serving our most underserved neighbors and will result in positive health outcomes, including the distribution of more Covid-19 vaccinations. See my release on the announcement here.
I was disappointed when a federal district judge in Memphis ruled that the national CDC eviction moratorium was unenforceable in the Western District of Tennessee and seven landlords and property management companies could resume evictions during the ongoing public health emergency. When the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati decided Monday that it would not stop the evictions, I urged the Department of Justice to appeal and to do all in its authority to keep the eviction moratorium in place. Currently, the ruling applies only in the Western District of Tennessee, affecting renters in Memphis, many of whom are my constituents and friends. Let me assure you, I will monitor this case closely and do what I can to restore the eviction moratorium in Memphis and protect it nationwide.
We’re making real progress against the coronavirus and the Biden Administration’s decision to devote critical resources to the Ninth Congressional District with the just-announced, federally operated vaccination center at the Liberty Bowl is very encouraging. The President’s ambitious goals are being met, but we must remain vigilant. As of today, all Shelby County residents aged 16 and over are eligible for the vaccine. Please make every effort to get your vaccination now that you are eligible. Because there are concerns about virus variants and we have not achieved herd immunity, we must continue to follow public health protocols including washing hands, wearing masks and keeping our distance. To make an appointment for a free vaccination through the City of Memphis, click here or call (901) 222-SHOT (7468).
I also want to remind you that the Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that consumers will have until August 15 to sign up for Affordable Care Act health care plans, extending the deadline from May 15. The special open-enrollment period began February 15 to help people who had lost jobs or encountered other access issues because of the pandemic gain health insurance coverage. See Healthcare.gov for details.
“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., April 3, 1968, at the Mason Temple in Memphis.
As always, I remain.