LANDOVER, Md. — On Monday, March 15, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touted the American Rescue Plan as he toured a UPS facility in Landover, Maryland, that is delivering vaccines to the District of Columbia and Maryland. During the tour, Buttigieg, along with Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.), met with UPS drivers who are delivering vaccines and saw demonstrations of how the vaccine is packaged and delivered across the area.
“It was an honor to meet and thank the workers at UPS who are stepping up every day to deliver vaccines during this pandemic,” Buttigieg said. “As President Biden has said, help is on the way. The American Rescue Plan is a historic accomplishment that will help our national vaccination program get shots into people’s arms quickly and equitably. This will save lives.”
Cardin stressed the importance of federal coordination in the vaccine effort, and thanked drivers for their service, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to get vaccines into the arms of every adult in this country and that can only be accomplished with critical coordination at the federal level,” Cardin said. “Thank you to all the delivery drivers and other essential workers who have shown bravery and dedication throughout the pandemic and now are on the frontlines delivering vaccines safely to state and local health departments for distribution. This is an incredibly complex task, but we will get it done and it will save lives.”
The American Rescue Plan contains nearly $160 billion to provide the supplies, emergency response, testing and public health workforce to stop the spread of COVID-19, while distributing vaccines as quickly as possible and addressing racial disparities in COVID-19 outcomes. The transportation network plays a vital role in the success of the vaccination program, with drivers across the nation ensuring the vaccine and medical supplies are delivered in a safe, timely manner.
“Today’s visit was a great opportunity to see firsthand how the Biden administration’s actions are leading to more vaccines on the ground and how Maryland’s workers are helping deliver on our top priority of getting these vaccines into the arms of Americans quickly,” Van Hollen said. “With the passage of the American Rescue Plan, it’s crucial that the state immediately deploy this historic federal support to improve vaccine access and reduce disparities in Maryland. We’ll be pushing to ensure just that, and I appreciate the efforts of Secretary Buttigieg and UPS, as together, we work to secure the timely delivery of vaccines across our state and country.”
Brown, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, described the passage of the rescue plan as “historic,” pointing to the prioritization of quick, equitable administration of vaccines to the general public.
“UPS facilities like the one in Landover are critical to ensuring states like Maryland get the vaccine supplies they need to protect the lives of our residents and defeat the COVID-19 pandemic,” Brown said. “This is a nationwide effort, requiring close cooperation and partnership between the public and private sectors. Working alongside Secretary Buttigieg and the tireless employees at UPS we will deliver for the American people and ensure better days are ahead.”
Vaccine distribution has required significant innovation in the shipping and logistics industry, as well as partnership with federal, state, and local government to enable a massive delivery effort of vaccines, including some that need to be transported and held at super-cold temperatures, to every corner of the U.S.