Update On The Corona Virus Pandemic
An important update on fighting the Corona Virus pandemic from Bernie Sanders. Plus a chance to get active about it with MoveOn. Many of us are feeling the impact on our lives from the Corona Virus, COVID-19, pandemic. And from the lack of an adequate response to it from our federal government. The crisis is exposing ineptitude, corruption, and abysmal failures in the Trump administration!
Bernie Sanders Corona Virus Update
I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the Coronavirus stimulus package that passed the Senate late last night, and share a few words about what we should be learning from this crisis.
Before I do that, very quickly I wanted to let you know we added five new charities that are working on the front lines of this pandemic. If you’re able to, please make a $10 contribution to these five new Corona Virus charities now.
Let me begin by stating that this bill is obviously not the bill that I, or the progressive community, would have written. There is much in it that I dislike very much and, equally important, there is much that is NOT in it that should be.
Now is the time to think big and prioritize working families — not corporations. Excluding low-income families from the bailout isn’t going to cut it. We must make working people whole.
Below are a few of the positive provisions included in the bill:
- $2 trillion in emergency funding. I was the first person to call for at least $2 trillion in spending, recognizing the crisis we face is on the scale of a major war, and we must act accordingly.
- Boost unemployment benefits. This moment requires a massive investment in unemployment insurance that includes ALL workers. The bill provides the largest expansion of unemployment benefits in U.S. history – an increase of over $250 billion – and provides benefits to gig workers and independent contractors historically excluded from unemployment insurance.
- Direct support to working families. Republicans did not want to provide direct payments to low-income workers. I pushed back and now $250 billion will go out in one-time checks of $1,200 for adults and $500 per child for low-income and middle-income families. Let me be very honest: I wanted much more and was fighting for every American to receive $2,000 per month for the duration of this crisis. This bill does not go far enough, but it was the agreement we were able to reach with Republicans.
- Support for workers at small businesses. When we fail small businesses, we fail the country. We must support small businesses, not just giant corporations, to protect their workers. Now, the bill will forgive billions in small businesses’ loans if they don’t lay off workers.
- Invest in community health centers. As part of this bill, Congress will invest $1.3 billion for health centers in underserved communities during this critical moment. I fought to make community health care centers a key part of the Affordable Care Act, and am glad that more funding will be included in this latest Corona Virus bill.
- Supporting cities on the front lines. $150 billion will be provided to states and cities that are in desperate need of a cash infusion to respond to the crisis. I have spent many hours consulting with local doctors and elected officials, and made clear to Congress that local governments across the country have been spending down their savings to meet the crisis head on, and must be supported by Washington before they get under water.
- Protecting the jobs and wages of airline workers. After working alongside leaders like Sara Nelson, the President of the Association of Flight Attendants, I made sure Congress didn’t pass a blank check to airlines, but instead protected the wages of airline workers.
- Telling Trump to act now: I led the charge in calling for Trump to act immediately and use the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of personal protective equipment. The final agreement has over $1 billion for Trump to direct to manufacture critical equipment including masks, gowns, gloves and ventilators.
The Obstruction Continued!
There are other things not included in the final bill that should have been. While Corona Virus testing will be free, Republicans unfortunately would not agree to make treatment free as well. Therefore the bill does nothing to protect patients from receiving massive bills for getting the treatment they need.
Doctors and nurses are on the front lines putting themselves at risk while working to do everything possible to keep the American people healthy. But they are not the only people in danger. People who are working in grocery stores and drug stores, other hospital workers, police officers, firefighters, and sanitation workers are also putting their lives on the line to protect us.
For weeks, we have been fighting against the original Republican proposal that put corporations before people. This Senate bill is a step forward, but there is still much work to be done to help those struggling in this economic and health care crisis.
So far supporters of our campaign have contributed more than $3.5 million directly to charities on the front lines of the pandemic.
Today we are announcing several new charities that need your help.
The new charities include The Workers Fund providing direct aid to gig and low-earning contract workers, the National Bail Fund Network’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund providing direct aid to organizations working among the crisis to free individuals in jails and immigration detention centers, Rent Zero Tenant Organizing Fund supporting tenants across the country to organize and win demands for eviction moratorium and no rents during the crisis and recovery, Amazonians United Mutual Aid Fund organizing a mutual aid fund for Amazon warehouse workers, and CERF+ COVID-19 Response Fund providing a safety net and disaster aid for artists and artisans during the crisis.
We understand if you cannot afford to contribute right now. But if you can afford it, I would like to ask:
In this frightening and dangerous moment in American history, as we do everything possible to address this crisis, it is also appropriate to ask ourselves how we got here and what this says about the financial and economic structure of the country.
I suspect that right now, all across this country, people are asking themselves how is it that, in the richest country in the history of the world, doctors and nurses are facing a shortage of the masks and gloves they need to protect themselves? How does it happen that we don’t have the necessary ventilators that we need in this crisis, or the ICU units, or even the emergency beds?
People are understanding that there is something wrong when we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all as a human right. As we think about the moment we are in, how does it happen that so many people are living in economic desperation and are frightened about what the next few weeks or months will bring?
How does it happen that so many of our people are working jobs that do not allow them to save any money in the bank?
There are tens of millions of Americans who are hurting and who are frightened. People who need our help right now.
We are facing an unprecedented crisis which means it is more important than ever that we are in this together. We can get through this. We can have the courage to take on this crisis. We can provide relief to millions of Americans and minimize the pain caused by the pandemic.
Let us go forward together.
Maddow Show Appearance On Continuing Until The DNC
From Jenn Sturm, MoveOn Political Action
Dear MoveOn member,
Many of us are feeling the impact on our lives from the Corona Virus, COVID-19, pandemic. And from the lack of an adequate response to it from our federal government. The crisis is exposing ineptitude, corruption, and abysmal failures in the Trump administration, and the extreme fragility of our social safety net and economy.
We want to learn more about how the Corona Virus crisis is impacting you, and where the scale of this crisis and the Trump administration’s failures to adequately address the pandemic are creating challenges in your life, whether personally, in your family, or in your community.
Across the U.S., we are experiencing the impact of the Coronavirus crisis in our communities, families, politics, elections, jobs, and more. The pandemic is exposing the underlying problems in our country and creating hardship for so many of us.
But, right now, many members of Congress are listening to corporate lobbyists who are pushing for no-strings-attached relief funding from the government. And if they only hear from lobbyists and don’t hear from the people on the frontlines of this pandemic, they’re likely to repeat the mistakes of the last financial crisis, with bailouts from Congress for corporations and the wealthy that never trickle down to working people and families. And if Donald Trump isn’t held accountable for his ineptitude, mismanagement, and corruption, our country will be unprepared when the next crisis hits.
We want to hear how the coronavirus crisis is impacting you, and how we can work together to hold Trump and the GOP accountable for their failure to adequately protect us during this pandemic.
Thanks for all you do.
Jenn, Mohammad, Nita, Sana, and the rest of the team
Want to support MoveOn’s work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump’s agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation’s pendulum back toward sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your ongoing support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us?