Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Encouraging All Americans To Get Vaccinated And Get Booster Shots Following Concerns Over The Omicron Variant

November 29, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 and the need for all Americans and New Yorkers to stay safe, get vaccinated, and get boosted. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Over the course of 2021, our country has made monumental and hard-fought progress in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the passing of the American Rescue Plan, after getting vaccines into as many arms as possible—and because of the unceasing work of the Biden Administration and health care workers across this country—we begin the winter of 2021 in a much better place than the winter of 2020.

But as we learn more about the omicron variant that is spreading abroad, my message to the American people is simple: if you don’t want to get sick, get vaccinated. If you are eligible, get your booster shot.

While there is so much we have yet to understand about the omicron variant, we do know that you are far less likely to be hospitalized or die from the coronavirus if you are fully vaccinated.

And for those who are already vaccinated, research shows that boosters are likewise highly effective. Take the words of Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health: “boosters do, in fact, allow your immune system to have a wide range of capabilities against spike proteins it hasn't seen before. If you needed one more reason, if you're eligible, to get that booster right away, this would be it.” Those are the words of Dr. Collins.

By now we know: the longer that eligible people resist safe vaccines, the greater the risk of new variants like delta and omicron arising in our midst. These strains, these strains of variants, have largely spread among unvaccinated populations, threatening our families, small businesses, and prolonging the day we put this wretched disease fully in the rearview mirror.

So if you aren’t getting vaccinated for yourself because you don’t think you need it—then do if you’re your family, your friends, and your neighbors. Because the unvaccinated population is where the variants multiply, spread and grow—and hurt everybody.

So as we enter the holiday season, as we begin attending holiday gatherings and travelling long distances to see families, I urge New Yorkers and Americans everywhere to stay safe, get vaccinated, and get boosted.

It’s the best thing we can do to protect our families, our communities, our country.