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Ryan McMahon will testify to Congress about Covid’s toll on mental health, drug abuse, schools – syracuse.com

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Feb 24, 2021

Washington – Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will testify to Congress on Wednesday about the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic on life in Central New York.

McMahon agreed to appear as a witness at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing about the pandemic at the request of Rep. John Katko, the panel’s top Republican.

Katko invited McMahon to speak about the pandemic’s toll on mental health, the opioid crisis, and schools, said Dan Kranz, speaking for Katko.

The county executive also will be asked to share his perspective on the challenges of distributing the coronavirus vaccine.

McMahon will offer the only insight from a local community at the hearing titled, “Confronting the coronavirus: Perspectives on the Covid-19 pandemic one year later.” Three other panelists are expected to testify on medical issues.

The virtual hearing in front of the full 35-member House Homeland Security Committee will be livestreamed on the committee’s website and on YouTube.

McMahon, 40, will also be able to offer a view as both a government official dealing with coronavirus and someone who has suffered from pandemic stress. He told syracuse.com that his recent health problems with double vision are likely the result of such stress.

“I’m coming to the conclusion more that it is pandemic-related,” McMahon told syracuse.com. “When we see what this pandemic has done to the public and the community … the human side of things … It’s tough to tune out. To turn it off. To be honest with you, I can’t turn it off.”

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