Rep. Scanlon Welcomes Dr. Ala Stanford of Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium as Virtual Guest to President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress

Chester, PA —  Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon is uplifting the work of Dr. Ala Stanford and the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium (BDCC) by inviting Dr. Stanford as her virtual guest to President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress on Wednesday, April 28. The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium was founded by Dr. Stanford in 2020 to educate and advocate for the Black community in order to reduce the incidence of disease and death from coronavirus. 


BDCC originally focused on bringing testing to underserved communities and now also runs vaccination clinics in these same areas. Dr. Stanford and her team are intentional about targeting their resources to the Black community. Black Americans have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and are still underrepresented in the number of people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.


“After more than a year of having our lives consumed by COVID-19, I could think of no better person to represent our region at President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress than Dr. Stanford — when the pandemic hit, she figured out what needed to be done, and then she did it! She has dedicated herself, and inspired others to join her, in the work of serving her community and reducing racial disparities in access to testing and vaccines,” said Rep. Scanlon. “We are 100 days into our work with the Biden administration, and the American Rescue Plan is already making a measurable difference in the lives of Americans. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, our communities, and providers like the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium are getting more resources for testing and vaccination — both of which are key to making it through this pandemic. People like Dr. Stanford are the true heroes of this recovery, and I am incredibly honored to have her as my virtual guest for President Biden’s address.”


The address, which is President Biden’s first speech to a Joint Session of Congress, marks 100 days into the President’s first term. In the past, members of Congress have often invited constituents to join them as guests to such speeches. While COVID-19 safety protocols mean this year’s in-person attendance will be limited, Rep. Scanlon felt that inviting Dr. Stanford as her virtual guest was an important way to honor the many local leaders who have been on the front lines of the pandemic. Dr. Stanford will watch the address from her home in Philadelphia.


“As a physician, my priority is to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, while saving lives and livelihoods,” said Dr. Ala Stanford. “In March of 2020, as COVID-19 numbers were reported, I saw the disproportionate impact the virus was having on African American and minority communities. I knew that inaction was contributing to disease and death. To date, the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium has tested over 25,000 and vaccinated over 45,000 in Philadelphia and its surrounding area. I thank Congresswoman Scanlon for being a continued advocate of our work as we continue to strive toward equity during this public health crisis and extend our work in mitigation of health disparities in minority communities.”


“In addition to highlighting the amazing work of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, I really wanted to use this opportunity to address vaccine hesitancy that remains in our district,” added Rep. Scanlon. “One hundred days into the Biden administration, we are at a point where we, thankfully, have an abundance of vaccine doses available and vaccination is the quickest way to get life back to normal. The challenge now is to ensure as many Americans as possible are getting vaccinated, and that means helping people overcome vaccine hesitancy that is driven by a wide variety of factors — misinformation or lack of information about the vaccine, lack of access, systemic inequities and racism in health care, concerns raised by the temporary pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, mistrust in government, and more.”


Rep. Scanlon continued: “Dr. Stanford has been a critical voice in the greater Philadelphia area, and in the Black community at-large, about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. She received the vaccine early on in December 2020 and was candid with the public about her decision-making process. This type of transparency helps to build trust and reduce the discomfort that many Americans still have about getting vaccinated against COVID-19.”


Photos of Dr. Stanford are available here and should be credited to the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium. More information about the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium can be found on their website, including a list of upcoming COVID-19 vaccination events and recent news coverage of BDCC


The American Rescue Plan: Help is Here

100 Days into Congress’s work with President Biden, the American Rescue Plan is putting shots in arms, money in pockets, children in schools, and people in jobs.


Shots in Arms

  • The United States has administered more than 230 million vaccine doses and counting. More than 95 million Americans are fully vaccinated. Half of the adults in the U.S. have received at least one dose. [DATA HERE]
  • The American Rescue Plan also recently sent $6 billion to local Community Health Centers to help them distribute vaccines. Pennsylvania received over $157 million to support 42 health centers across the commonwealth. [DATA HERE]

Money in Pockets

  • About 161 million stimulus payments have made their way into the hands of hardworking Americans with most eligible families receiving $1,400 per family member. [MORE HERE]
  • Over 18 million Americans are able to pay their bills due to unemployment benefits that were extended, including the extra $300 per week.

Children in Schools

  • The American Rescue Plan invested $130 billion to help schools reopen safely, stay open safely, and make up for lost learning time.
  • The American Rescue Plan also recently sent $39 billion to states to help keep childcare providers on the job and lower costs for working families, including nearly $1.2 billion for Pennsylvania. [MORE HERE]

People in Jobs

  • The economy created nearly 1 million jobs in March. According to CNBC: “Job growth boomed in March at the fastest pace since last summer, as stronger economic growth and an aggressive vaccination effort contributed to a surge in hospitality and construction jobs.”


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