HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee discussed a number of topics, including getting children ages 5-11 vaccinated ahead of the holidays and an anticipated COVID-19 winter surge.
Dozens of young children and their parents lined up at the Lilly Grove Baptist Church on Houston's south side Saturday to get a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or a booster shot.
Clarence Madise, a father, said it was a priority for his family to get his daughter vaccinated when she was eligible after their she was sent home from school at least two times due to COVID-19 exposure.
"It was March and she came home and she didn't have COVID," Madise said. "But we got tested. Me and my wife ended up having COVID. We were in the hospital for five days, and they gave me the remdesivir, and (after) five days I was walking out of the hospital. Them doctors were great and it was not pretty. I was in bad shape."
Rep. Jackson Lee said she is sounding the alarm and wants families to get vaccinated ahead of gathering together for the holidays. Medical experts also anticipate another surge in COVID-19 cases following the Thanksgiving holiday and during the winter months.
"We need to be ready," Jackson Lee said to the crowd. "COVID-19 cases rise nationally, just in time for the holidays. As I indicated, Dr. Peter Hotez has indicated that Mother Nature is telling us that it's going to happen and there has been nationally a 12 percent increase. We're going up to 800,000 (people) dead. We're having at least 14,000 to 15,000 (people) die every day from COVID-19."
Jackson Lee's team also noted she was one of the key negotiators for President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill known as Build Back Better Act. The $1.75 trillion spending bill proposes to provide free pre-school for 3 to 4-year-olds, invest in affordable housing, update infrastructure across the country and provide funding to combat climate change.
"Let me be very clear, we will not be complete unless we pass the Build Back Better," Jackson Lee said. "And as well make sure the president signs it."
Democrats claim the spending package will be paid for by tax increases on high income earners and corporations over the course of 10 years.
"Everybody needs to get vaccinated," Madise said. "And please vote. That's the only way we can build back better."