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Courtney Highlights U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Submarine Base New London, as Connecticut Leads Nation in Vaccination Rates and Low Infections

October 4, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02) praised the State of Connecticut’s success as a nationwide leader in low COVID-19 infection rates, and high rates of vaccination. According to the latest reporting by the New York Times on statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Connecticut ranks first place in the entire country in terms of the number of people over 18 years old who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Simultaneously, the data show that Connecticut currently has the lowest daily numbers of new COVID-19 infections per 100,000 residents, out of all 50 states.

Courtney pointed out that these two trends aren’t coincidental—Connecticut’s high vaccination rate has directly contributed to low infection rates and a strong local recovery. He noted that in eastern Connecticut, entities like the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Submarine Base New London—where vaccination rates are extraordinarily high—have been leaders for the community in overcoming the pandemic. The student body at the Coast Guard Academy has a 99% vaccination rate, and Submarine Base New London has a vaccination rate of nearly 90%, the highest of any U.S. Navy installation in the country.

Click here to watch Rep. Courtney’s full remarks on Connecticut’s success

Read below for a summary of Rep. Courtney’s remarks, or click here to watch the full video.

“I wanted to share with the Chamber the latest statistics form the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services regarding infection rates and vaccination rates in the country,” Rep. Courtney began on Thursday. “I’m proud to say that from the State of Connecticut, we ranked as the lowest infection rate in the country—1.4%, 14 cases per 100,000. Simultaneous with that report was the numbers regarding vaccination rates, and for our population 18 and over we are at 80% vaccination rate. Which again, is the highest in the country.”

“It is blindingly obvious that there is a causal connection between communities that come together to boost vaccination rates, and the benefit and result of reducing infection rates. […] What does that mean? It means there’s no pressure on your ICU units. It allows for normal elective surgeries, and the processes of hospitals to continue—which is the endgame of what we all should be focused on like a laser, which is to get beyond this pandemic.”

Courtney highlighted the importance of leadership displayed by local entities like the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Submarine Base New London in terms vaccine awareness. While false claims and misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines have continued, Courtney noted that the examples set by current and future leaders of America’s Navy and maritime services has been more important than ever.

“Anecdotally, in my district, I was over at the Coast Guard Academy the other day – a 99% vaccination rate with the student body at the Coast Guard Academy. These are the future leaders of our coastal sea service, and they get it. They understand the benefits so that they can attend class and have a normal campus life.

“Across the river, at the submarine base in Groton, again, just shy of a 90% vaccination rate. That’s 10,000 sailors and officers—these are people with families, these are folks who have pregnant spouses, but they get it. There is no way you can socially distance in a submarine, and they are now the number one Naval installation in America in terms of vaccination rates.”

Courtney stated that this success didn’t happen on its own. He commended Governor Lamont for putting federal American Rescue Plan resources to good use, and for working early on to bring public health experts together with community leaders to focus intensely on testing, masking, and vaccine access.

He also noted that the American Rescue Plan is continuing to deliver resources to help Connecticut overcome the pandemic once and for all. Just this week, Rep. Courtney announced the award of more than $1.4 million in American Rescue Plan health care infrastructure grants to United Community and Family Health Services in Norwich, and to Generations Family Health Center in Willimantic.

“On Tuesday, the Biden Administration announced the release of funding for community health centers, which have been the backbone in terms of reaching hard to get populations […] during this pandemic. And in eastern Connecticut, the two community health systems—United Children and Family Services and Generations—are getting close to $1 million for new equipment, and new infrastructure to carry out their mission to make sure that we are going to beat this virus once and for all.

“[…] Right now, we still cannot be distracted from the need to get on the other side of this pandemic. And as these numbers today from my state show, when you work together, when you combat all the misinformation and bad stuff that’s out there about vaccines and masking—we had a hearing in Hartford [the other day] where they had people up there saying that the authorization from the FDA was only for the ‘German vaccine’ not the ‘American Pfizer vaccine,’ which is ridiculous, but that stuff is out there, and we’ve over come that. And the numbers, they speak for themselves in terms of that success.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure that we keep this priority number one, two, and three, because that’s how we recovery our economy, and that’s how we recover a normal life in this country. So, let’s work together.”

To watch the full video of Rep. Courtney’s remarks, click here.

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