The Senator released the following statement regarding receiving his first vaccine shot:
“Due to the expansion of eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by the Centers for Disease Control and as a pre-registered Type-2 diabetic, I was able to receive my first vaccine shot today. As President Joe Biden has called for an aggressive expansion of vaccine production under the Defense Production Act and made a commitment to release more doses, it is important that we continue to encourage everyone to register to receive their shot. This is critically important in the African American community, as only 3% of the 456,000 does administered here in New Jersey have been received by African Americans. This pandemic has had an especially devastating effect on this community, with people of color being hospitalized at a higher rate and dying more often of this disease.
“I felt it was my responsibility to receive this shot publicly today because I am deeply aware of the distrust and hesitation felt by many in the African American community to get the vaccine. This is born frankly out of the appalling and unacceptable historical inequities and mistreatment of people of color with respect to health care and medical experimentation in our nation’s history.
“In order for us to aggressively push back on this pandemic in the communities that have been hit the hardest, we must begin by increasing faith in the science and the institutions who have brought this vaccine forward. I received the vaccine with confidence today, and it is my hope that others will come together for each other and the greater good to do so as well.”