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U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today released the following statement after calling for Montefiore to keep Mt. Vernon Hospital open:

U.S.. Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “Mount Vernon was in the epicenter of the COVID pandemic, these nurses and all of their colleagues – from doctors to orderlies – did heroic work to get Mount Vernon back on its feet.

But, these heroes, our nurse and health care workers on the frontlines who have been here for us all during our darkest hours, still find time to fight for this community – for the absolute need for a full service hospital here in the City of Mount Vernon.

And I’m here today to say that I’m with them. I am with the people of Mount Vernon; I am with the wonderful clergy leaders who lead us spiritually and socially; I am with Mayor Shawn Patterson Howard; I am with State Senators Alessandra Biaggi and Jamaal Bailey; I am With Congressman elect Jamaal Bowman; I am with the NY State Nurses Association; I am with all those who are pushing for the urgent need to keep open this hospital and to provide the maximum health care to frontline communities like Mount Vernon during and after the coronavirus challenge.

The bottom line is this: in the face of the greatest public health crisis we have faced, one that has deeply and disproportionately impacted the Black community, you do not close down hospitals and constrict access to health care in a community like Mount Vernon. Instead we must preserve and expand that access – in the name of saving lives, and in the name of justice.

We know that coronavirus has exposed deep disparities in America. We know that poor access to health care and poor proactive health prevention laid the groundwork for the appalling way that coronavirus impacted African American and Latino communities. It must be our mission today – and everyday – to rectify these inequalities, not exacerbate them.

If the only hospital in Mt. Vernon closes down, we risk not only the health and safety of this entire community, but we also threaten to widen racial disparities. We need to keep fighting for a full service hospital and quality health care for all of those who live and work in this community. That is why I am calling on Montefiore to keep Mt. Vernon Hospital OPEN and to keep our nurses and healthcare workers on the job so they can continue serving this community during the ongoing pandemic and beyond.”