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Senator Stabenow stops at NMU, talks cybersecurity and EAN

Senator Debbie Stabenow
United States Department of Agriculture
Senator Debbe Stabenow (MI-D)

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow was in Marquette this week to tour Northern Michigan University’s new Cybersecurity Institute.

She’s been working with NMU to expand access to high-speed broadband internet in rural areas through the school’s Educational Access Network. Stabenow said investments in high-speed internet were part of the infrastructure bill just passed in the Senate.

“First of all, when we talk about infrastructure today, it’s not just roads and bridges and water systems—it’s high-speed internet. It is, and it needs to be viewed as a basic part of infrastructure in the United States in the 21st century.”

The senator said expanding access to broadband internet allows just about anyone to work from anywhere in the U.P. and allows kids to be educated even if their school building is closed.

While there, Stabenow also said people needed to be serious about masking in regards to COVID-19, but stopped short of saying masks should be mandated in Michigan schools. But she said people who claim masks impinge on their freedom need to realize everyone needs the freedom to go back to work and school and not get sick—or worse.

“There’s a lot of things that we’re asked to do in terms of health and safety all the time, and this seems like a small thing to do to stop thousands more people from potentially dying in Michigan,” Stabenow said.

Stabenow said it’s more important than ever for people to vaccinated. That’s the only way the virus will disappear.

Stabenow also commented on the current situation in Afghanistan, saying what's unfolding there is a tragedy. She says her heart is with the Afghan people, especially those who worked with the U.S., and women and girls, who don’t know if they can continue their education and jobs.

The Democratic senator said America has trained and equipped the Afghan army for 20 years. After watching it collapse so quickly, one has to ask if it would have been better to leave a year from now or five or ten.

“I think the reality is that we’re finding out that it wouldn’t have been, which is the other part of the tragedy, after all the American efforts.”

Stabenow said officials have to wait and see how the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan will impact the U.S.

Stabenow will be in Houghton and Iron Mountain Thursday to "hold a roundtable with Houghton manufacturers and tour the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center and Dickinson County Hospital," according to a press release. 

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