Launch of the “Grandparents against COVID-19” initiative in DC

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Community leaders from various groups launched the “DC Grandparents Against COVID-19” movement in Washington DC, focused on uniting adults over 60 to encourage both them and their loved ones from all walks of life. ages to get vaccinated and receive booster doses to stop the coronavirus.


The initiative is sponsored by HelpAge USA in partnership with the DC Department of Aging and Community Life and the Washington Metropolitan Area Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP-DC).

“Grandparents are frustrated and saddened by the high toll COVID-19 has taken on our communities,” Cindy Cox-Roman, executive director of HelpAge USA, told a news conference on Wednesday.

“Older people recognize that they can be part of the solution and influence others to get vaccinated or boosted. We are honored to support them in their efforts to ensure the neighborhood remains vigilant and healthy,” she added.

Speakers at the event were Janeese Lewis George, District 4 Councilwoman; Dr. Thomas Farley, Master of Public Health from the DC Department of Health; Reverend Karen Curry of Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church; Louis Davis, Jr. of AARP-DC; Jessica Smith, from the District’s Department of Aging and Community, and Grace Whitmire, from DC Grandparents Against COVID-19.

In their interventions, they emphasized the need to remain vigilant against the pandemic, sharing personal stories and experiences of how COVID-19 has impacted and continues to impact their lives, their families and communities over the past two years.

“Washington DC has been and is a united population and our grandparents have always been at the center,” said Councilwoman Janeese Lewis George. “I am very happy and satisfied to support the Grandparents Against COVID-19 in the city, because in our communities we all stand on the shoulders of our grandparents.”

After pointing out that “many of us have lost relatives and loved ones”, the councilor pointed out that “at the same time we also know that we can be proactive and fight back”.

“We are going to come out of this pandemic stronger and we are going to do it because we are that united people,” he concluded.

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