Rep. Ruiz and HHS Secy. Becerra Host Local Vaccine Drive, Discuss Inflation Reduction Act

Carmela Karcher

“I’ve been vaccinating throughout the whole pandemic, but today we made history,” Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) shared.

Friday, Congressman Raul Ruiz paid a special visit to the Desert Hot Springs Senior Center.

Along with him was an important guest: U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra.

There, they helped administer vaccines and discussed the benefits seniors will see from the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The winter is coming and the prevalence of COVID is going to go up as well as the flu,” Dr. Ruiz said. “We also talked to the seniors about the great benefits that the Inflation Reduction Act has on lowering health care costs. It really makes us feel that this community matters to me and to the administration, and we’re doing everything we can so that they’re protected and have a better life.”

Nearly three in ten American adults who take prescriptions say they have either skipped doses, split pills or haven’t refilled due to cost.

That’s what the Inflation Reduction Act is trying to fix by lowering seniors’ prescription drug prices and cap those expenses at $2,000 per year.

But Dr. Ruiz had another message about the pandemic.

“We still have over 300 deaths a day throughout the country. The pandemic is not over,” he explained. “We can’t put our guard down. We have to make sure that especially those older than 60 years old are boosted and protected during this winter.”

And Secretary Becerra was there to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

“Get all your loved ones vaccinated for flu for COVID, be careful with this RSV virus, because if you do the vaccination by Halloween, you should have no worries about hugging and kissing all those relatives,” he said.

For Dr. Ruiz, this was an extraordinary moment.

“I never imagined as a kid in a trailer park dreaming about being a doctor and serving the community that I would be doing it like this in this capacity,” Dr. Ruiz said. “So, it just goes to show you that God is great.”

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